5 June 2023
  • 9:46 pm جنوبی وزیرستان: دہشتگردوں سے فائرنگ کے تبادلے میں ایک جوان شہید
  • 9:36 pm Pakistan Army soldier martyred in South Waziristan gunfight: ISPR
  • 9:36 pm PPP to flex its muscles in Swat
  • 9:36 pm پی ٹی آئی سے پہلے مذاکرات کیےنہ اب کریں گے، مولانا فضل الرحمان
  • 9:17 pm Political issues can best be resolved through negotiations, consensus: SC
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After several days of mass protests and clashes between protesters and police in early March, the ruling party of Georgia, a former Soviet state located in the Caucasus, succumbed to pressure and abandoned its proposed laws on foreign agents.

But the uproar and media focus surrounding the Georgian initiative and its demise should not mask a greater trend when it comes to such laws, which target foreign-funded media and non-governmental organisations. Over the past decade they have sprung up in countries across the world. China, India, Cambodia, Australia and Uganda are among the dozens of countries that have “foreign agent” laws on their books.

And a few days after the withdrawal of the Georgian draft laws, Politico reported that the European Union was going to develop its own register of foreign agents.

Prone to abuse

The impetus for the adoption of these laws in recent years has come from growing international tensions and concerns of national authorities about foreign influence on domestic affairs and public opinion.

The interpretation and application of “foreign agent” laws varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. But they all tend to require the registration and singling out of organisations with foreign funding or “influence”. In many cases, their activities are also curtailed unreasonably.

From my experience representing non-governmental organisations classified as foreign agents, such laws have the potential to be used as a tool against groups…

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Abdul Gh Lone