Freedom Of Assembly

Freedom of assembly is the citizens’ right to publicly gather together to express, advocate and achieve shared needs. Assembly encompasses the right to express dissent through meetings, demonstrations, protests and strikes. This civil liberty is an essential complement to freedom of association and expression. Assembly is one of the citizens’ tools to engage with governing bodies, other forms of authority and multinational organisations. Indeed, assembly channels and magnifies the democratic will, including that of minority groups and urges interlocutors to take citizens’ perspectives into consideration.

The United Nations Human Rights Council stated that:

“The ability to assemble and act collectively is vital to democratic, economic, social and personal development, to the expression of ideas and to fostering engaged citizenry. Assemblies can make a positive contribution to the development of democratic systems and, alongside elections, play a fundamental role in public participation, holding governments accountable and expressing the will of the people as part of the democratic processes”.

Governing bodies have the duty to provide a safe and empowering environment for people to come together and express their views. This responsibility includes ensuring access to public spaces, supplying protection in favour of and punishing violence against citizens exercising their freedom of assembly.

According to CIVICUS, emerging trends limiting the right to peaceful assembly include policing techniques such as the use of excessive or unlawful violence and undercover tactics, illegal or unreasonable refusal of authorisation to gather peacefully, denial of protection from violent counter-demonstrations.

In recent years, several European governments undertook anti-terror strategies that left legal loopholes failing to protect or even eroding freedom of assembly in the name of security of public places. These measures often led to a transfer of powers from the independent judicial sector to prefects and police authorities, who now have more discretion in regulating assemblies in public spaces.

Read Latest Alerts:

#restiamoumaniLa polizia sta impedendo di portare a cqua e cibo ai manifestanti che dalle 7e30 sono al ministero dei trasporti in protesta pacifica e non violenta.E' necessario andare lì a portare solidarietà! Attivarsi è l'unica forma di resistenza che abbiamo, ora. pic.twitter.com/U1rWpdshYs— Baobab Experience (@BaobabExp) July 11, 2018 On 11 ...
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(translated from RTL info) The police of Brussels Capital Ixelles administratively stopped Wednesday morning four people who deployed a banner against the American president in the Madou tunnel. The banner carried an unequivocal message to Donald Trump: "Bombing for peace is like fucking for virginity". The US president is in Brussels since ...
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(Deutsche Welle) Police in the southwestern French city of Nantes clashed again with protesters overnight. The demonstrations followed a deadly shooting by police of a man during a stop-and-search. Police arrested at least 12 people during a second night of protests in the French city of Nantes. Demonstrators clashed with riot police on ...
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(The Brussels Times) Two reporters and three technical staff of the French-speaking public broadcaster RTBF were arrested yesterday while reporting on a demonstration against a new centre for refugees in Steenokkerzeel outside Brussels. The demonstrators oppose the creation of a new closed detention centre for asylum-seekers close to the existing – ...
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#LexNGO2018 “criminalizes activities that are fully legitimate,” @VeniceComm and @osce_odihr wrote in their draft report, according to Reuters. Is that why #Hungary government won't wait for final report on Friday with the vote? https://t.co/G4MlZojFHC— HunHelsinkiCommittee (@hhc_helsinki) June 20, 2018 On 20 June, the Hungarian Parliament passed a law, known as ...
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(Index on censorship) 22 May 2018 - A photographer and a videographer were detained for 48 hours and charged with unauthorised entry after covering the occupation of a school in Paris by protesters against a recent education reform, alternative website Taranis reported. A member of photographers' collective La Meute told ...
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(CIVICUS Monitor) In April 2018, parents of children with disabilities in Poland held protests demanding an increase in disability benefits provided by the state. The protestors occupied the Polish Sejm (parliament) but authorities allegedly hid them behind a thick, grey curtain in order to reduce the visibility of their protest. During the ...
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(Media.cat) Vandalism, insults, threats and beatings are just some of the Spanish unionist-inspired attacks that were seen in autumn 2017, especially after 1 October. Although the perpetrators are a small minority among all the people who have come out in favour of Spanish unity, the violence cuts across boundaries and ...
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By Viera Zuborova, Bratislava Policy Intitute The murder of 27 years old journalist with his 27 years old fiancée hit the Slovak society badly, and after 25 years of independent state Slovak society woke up from the matrix and the illusion of liberal democratic system was vanished. In the last period ...
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On 17 May, the council of the city of Rome voted to evict the International Women's House from the public building “Buon Pastore” in Rome where several organisations were working for over 30 years to create a space for dialogue and confrontation for Italian and international women on equal rights ...
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