Investigating sexual violence as war crimes — "He Came Back"
Our War Crimes Investigations Unit released its new documentary, “He Came Back”. The film is about two cases of sexual violence committed by Russian soldiers during the occupation of Kherson and Kyiv oblasts in 2022 — and the process of identifying the offenders. Watch it on our YouTube channel.
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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken gives a press conference following his meeting with French Foreign minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris, on April 2, 2024. (Benoit Tessier / POOL / AFP via Getty Images)
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The U.S. State Department on May 23 denounced Georgia's "foreign agents" law and imposed visa restrictions on those responsible for "undermining democracy" in the country and their family members.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said he is launching a review of U.S.-Georgian relations and voiced hope that Georgia's leaders will reconsider the bill.

Concerns about Georgia's democracy have reached a fever pitch after the ruling Georgian Dream party passed the foreign agents law, which requires organizations that receive foreign funding to be labeled as "foreign agents" and mirrors repressive Russian legislation used to crack down on Kremlin regime critics.

The controversial legislation sparked large-scale protests in the country, which escalated to violent incidents as police officers reportedly tried to quell the demonstrations with water cannons and rubber bullets.

Blinken said the law would "stifle the exercise of freedoms of association and expression, stigmatize organizations that serve the citizens of Georgia, and impede independent media organizations" and accused Tbilisi of a "campaign of intimidation and the use of violence to suppress peaceful dissent."

"In response to these actions, the Department of State is implementing a new visa restriction policy for Georgia that will apply to individuals who are responsible for or complicit in undermining democracy in Georgia, as well as their family members," the statement read, specifying that this includes "individuals responsible for suppressing civil society and freedom of peaceful assembly."

The Georgian parliament passed the law in its final reading on May 14, but pro-Western President Salome Zourabichvili vetoed it a few days later. Georgian Dream has enough votes in the parliament to override the veto and has already announced it will do so.

The legislation prompted criticism both from the U.S. and the EU.

Washington is considering a package of military, trade, and visa liberalization incentives for Georgia if it reverses the trend of democratic backsliding and abandons the controversial law, Politico reported on May 20, citing a draft bill to be introduced in Congress in the coming days.

Several EU countries are reportedly pushing for sanctions against Georgia over the bill, including suspension of the visa-free travel regime. Some European Parliament members also called to suspend Georgia's EU candidacy in response.

Explainer: What’s behind ongoing protests in Georgia?
For the past few weeks, thousands of protesters have gathered every night in front of the Georgian parliament in opposition to the controversial foreign agents law that the ruling Georgian Dream party is attempting to pass. The final vote is set to take place on May 14. The law would
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