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Georgia Restricts Protests

A woman holding Saakashvili’s photo at a rally against rally rules. David Mdzinarishvili

TBILISI, Georgia — Georgia's parliament on Friday increased restrictions on public protests in response to opposition rallies in May in which two people died.

The legislation says rallies must not come within 20 meters of government buildings, prevents small rallies from blocking roads, railways and highways and prohibits the possession of dangerous objects and the consumption of alcohol by participants.

People under 18 and those who are not Georgian citizens cannot act as organizers of protests. The law also calls for protection of journalists at the rallies.

Two people — a policeman and a demonstrator — were killed during protests in May when protesters demanded the resignation of President Mikheil Saakashvili. Georgian riot police used teargas, water cannons and rubber bullets on May 26 to halt five days of demonstrations, during which at least 37 people were injured.

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