Rights & Freedoms

Afghanistan’s New Law on Freedom of Assembly: Limiting the space to demonstrate


Demonstration in Kabul after the 2010 parliamentary elections to hold the electoral bodies to account for alleged fraud. Photo: Obaid Ali.

A new law on freedom of assembly is under consideration in Afghanistan. The National Security Council (NSC) decided to replace the current Law on Gatherings, Demonstrations and Strikes (hereafter called the Assembly Law) after the deadly explosion which targeted protesters in the Deh Mazang area of Kabul on 23 July 2016. A draft of the law, leaked on 8 July 2017, has led to strong reactions from civil society, as it became obvious that the new law would seriously restrict the right to organise and participate in demonstrations, public gatherings, strikes and sit-ins. A group of civil society activists has now asked the government to amend the draft. In this Q&A, AAN’s Ehsan Qaane goes through the new draft law in detail, explains why it was drafted, what its implications might be and what reactions to it have been.

  1. Why is the Assembly Law being redrafted?

Various factors came together to prompt the renewal of the Assembly Law: the fear of demonstrations getting out of hand and threatening a vulnerable government, the wish to limit the negative repercussions of prolonged protests on the economic and civilian life of a city, the need to protect demonstrators in mass protests from possible terrorist attack, and the need to fix a faulty law.

The current law was enacted in January 2003 based on the 1964 constitution (also known as King Zahir Shah’s Constitution, full text here), as the current constitution had not yet been endorsed (this happened in the Constitutional Loya Jirga on 24 January 2004). The decision to renew the Assembly Law was made by the National Security Council on 31 August 2016, one month after a suicide attacker detonated his explosives in the middle of a mass protest by the Enlightenment Movement, on 23 July 2016; the bomber killed more than 80 people and injured around 300 others (see AAN’s analysis about the Enlightenment demonstration here and here). The drafting process of the new Assembly Law was accelerated during another round of massive demonstrations and sit-ins by another protest movement, ‘Uprising for Change’ that took place in Kabul from 2 to 20 June 2017 (more details here and here). Uprising for Change is a socio-political movement, led by group of independent young politicians and civil society activists, mainly Tajiks.

The Enlightenment Movement, led by a group of MPs, social activists and young politicians, mainly Hazara, had called the 23 July 2016 demonstration in Deh Mazang to protest the Afghan government’s decision to route a major electricity transmission line, known as TUTAP (an acronym for Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan) from Hairatan to Kabul through Salang, rather than through Bamyan (see AAN’s analysis here and here). The protesters claimed the decision was motivated by discrimination against Hazaras who form a majority in the central region of the country, including Bamyan province. The protesters demanded the routing of TUTAP through Bamyan.

Though President Ghani banned any demonstrations for ten days after the Deh Mazang attack, his ruling failed to stop protests outside the country, which continued for several months, against the government in general and him in particular. Expatriate Afghans demonstrated against the president when he attended the Brussels Conference in October 2016, the Munich Security Conference in February 2017 and during a visit to Australia in April 2017. (1)

The Enlightenment demonstration was neither the first, nor the last demonstration since President Ghani’s administration was inaugurated in September 2014. At least in the capital, three large demonstrations were organised before the Enlightenment protest and one after it. There was the Farkhunda demonstration on 24 March 2015 (2), the demonstration of the so-called Tabasum Revolution on 11 November 2015 (3) and the first demonstration of the Enlightenment Movement on 16 May 2016. (4)

Then on 2 June 2017, thousands of Kabuli citizens, organised by Uprising for Change, took to the streets after a massive truck-bomb was detonated in Wazir Akbar Khan killing 150 people and injuring 500 more (more details here and here). The protesters demanded the resignations of President Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar and the security minsters for what they said was their continued failure to protect the lives of Afghan citizens in Kabul and other provinces. Six protesters, including Salem Izadyar, the son of the deputy chairman of the Upper House of the Afghan Parliament, were shot dead by soldiers from the Kabul garrison (see here). The situation was further inflamed when his funeral was targeted by two suicide bombers. The protesters, mainly Tajiks, installed protest tents at several intersections in Kabul, virtually shutting down parts of the city for 18 days until their last tent was forcibly removed by the Kabul garrison during the night of 20 June 2017 (see here).

While the Uprising for Change sit-ins continued in Kabul, President Ghani organised a large number of meetings with various groups, including political parties, civil society organisations and trade unions. In his meetings, the president discussed the negative impact of the ongoing sit-ins to public order, to the income of the private sector and the lives of private citizens. According to his official website, President Ghani met around 3,000 individuals and promised to “set the limits of freedom” explaining that “our national interests and Islamic values are our limits” (see here). According to a one-page report that was attached to the leaked draft of the law, the Law Committee of the cabinet resumed and accelerated drafting the new Assembly Law on 12 June 2017, ten days after the Uprising for Change had started its protest.

These five large demonstrations against the National Unity government (NUG) in Kabul, and many smaller ones outside the country have challenged the effectiveness and legitimacy of its security and development strategies in the two and half years since its establishment. However, as well as concerns from the government that the protests highlighted its vulnerability, there were also other reasons why the NUG has wanted to try to restrict the right to protest.

Negative impact of protests on public order and economy

The government argues that these demonstrations have harmed public order and the economy, through the closure of roads, shops, banks, business centres and government institutions. Therefore, according to Second Vice-President Sarwar Danish, who heads the Law Committee of the cabinet, “the Assembly Law must balance maintaining the right of citizens to protest with the public order” (see here). According to the one page report, which was prepared on 10 April 2017 by the Ministry of Economy in cooperation with the security organs (AAN obtained a hard copy), as many as 187,713 state employees had not been able to get to work during the demonstration on 23 July 2016. In the report, three solutions were recommended to reduce financial losses:

“1) The route of a demonstration and place of gathering or sit-in have to be outside the centre of [large] cities to maintain public order and keep the roads open; 2) the route of a demonstration and place of gathering shall be away from business centres; and 3) the organisers of protests shall guarantee the security (masuniat) of the protest, the maintenance of public order and public property, traffic discipline and social and economic interests.”

Securing the protestors

The need to provide security for protesters may have been another reason behind the redrafting of the Assembly Law. This concern has existed from the beginning of the establishment of the NUG, with a review made three months into the presidency, and a drafting of a demonstration regulation by the National Security Council on 27 December 2014. The regulation aimed at preventing terrorist attacks against protesters (according to a hard copy of an NSC document obtained by AAN). Although it is not clear when the draft was finalised, five routes for demonstrations and a few places for gatherings and sit-ins were specified in the new regulation. All are located in the suburbs of Kabul city. (5)

A faulty law

Finally, the need to fill some gaps in the current Assembly Law was mentioned in official documents as the most pressing reason to draft a new Assembly Law. Although these documents did not provide details about the gaps, the new draft law does contain some improvements on the old one. Some of them are discussed in the next paragraphs.

  1. What are the most important changes in the new draft of the Assembly Law?

The draft of the new Assembly Law, leaked on 8 July 2017, has six chapters and 33 articles. There are many changes, some for the better. Compared to the Assembly Law, the new draft has a better structure, with some articles having been shifted from one chapter to another, and some paragraphs from one article to the other. Some definitions have been added, for instance for sit-ins. But most of the changes curtail the freedom of assembly: more restrictions have been added to the right to protest, more responsibilities have been given to the organisers of protests, and more authorities given to the police (who now have fewer responsibilities).

The most substantive change is the addition of new provisions that introduce restrictions to the permitted time, subject, manner and place of demonstrations, strikes and gatherings, as well as limitations to the right of participation. Some of these restrictions may violate the constitution.

Restrictions on what protestors are allowed to protest

According to para (1.1) of article 8, protesters only have the right to protest when they have “reform objectives”, ie objectives that aim to improve the “situation of the country socially, economically, politically, culturally, artistically and in terms of [workers’] unions and security.” Protestors could of course argue that a protest that is critical of the government and that does not explicitly fall under any of this categories could still be seen as having ‘reform objectives’ but the government could choose to disagree. For instance, the Uprising for Change movement demanded the resignation of the president, the CE and the national security adviser, arguing that the resignation of these officials would change the security situation for the better. However, this demand was called “irrational” by some Afghan senators.

In para (1) of article 21, the drafters of the new law – representatives of the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Interior and the Attorney General’s Office and Nasrullah Stanekzai, the head of the Presidential Judicial Board – listed the characteristics of unlawful protests, saying that “gatherings, strikes, demonstrations and sit-ins on the basis of ethnic, religious and regional demands are not allowed.” This restriction harms the right of ethnic and religious minorities, as well as the rights of residents of particular areas. For example, based on this article, it appears that Afghan Sikhs would no longer be able to demonstrate to demand the protection of their religious rights. Or the residents of Kandahar would, for instance, not be allowed to organise a sit-in to ask for cheaper electricity in their area. Such restrictions were never part of the Assembly Law, which in its article 4 only determines a few basic red lines saying that “the protesters shall not carry weapons, violate the constitution or stand against national interests.”

Restrictions on when and how long protestors are allowed to protest

There are already restrictions in the current Assembly Law and these have been added to. The ban on demonstrations between sunset and sunrise and within 48 hours of an election, referendum or Loya Jirga (Article 8) has been expanded to include demonstrations during those events as well (Para (2) of article 11 of the draft law). There is a new ban on any sit-in that lasts more than three days (Para (7) of article 10). The ban on any kind of protests during a state of emergency (Article 21) remains.

Although limitations on demonstrations before and during an elections or referendum might make sense, this seems less obviously true before or during a Loya Jirga. During an election or referendum, each citizen uses their vote to make a decision, but in a Loya Jirga it is the officials and politicians who make decisions about issues that are directly connected to the fundamental rights of citizens, including amending of the constitution. Citizens should be able to protest and raise their voices, before and during a Loya Jirga.

Not allowing a sit-in to continue for more than three days makes it a much less effective tool for protesters, as the government knows the protest must end and will not cause it any serious problems. In general, protests are not held only to make the government aware of people’s demands, but also to force the government, through public power, to address them.

Restrictions on where protestors are allowed to protest

Article 3 of the new draft, and also of the current Assembly Law, distinguishes two types of places: public and private. ‘Public places’ refers to roads, squares, parks and other places where people can freely move and assemble. ‘Private places’ refers to an area where movement and assembly is subjected to the permission of the owner, possessor, or custodian officials. The definitions of public and private places are very similar in the Assembly Law and the new draft. Only “the permission of possessor or custodian officials” which covers state property, is added to the definition of private place provided in the draft. In other words, state property is now considered a ‘private place’.

Article 8 of the current Assembly Law only bans demonstrations, gatherings and strikes in areas close to military establishments, places where explosive and combustible material is stored, hospitals and nurseries.

The new draft expands certain restrictions using the notion of public and private places. According to para (2) of article 7, the police may ban gatherings, strikes, demonstrations and sit-ins in private places, “if necessary,” though the term of ‘necessary’ is left undefined. Para (3) of article 10 stresses that “No person may use the right to gatherings, strikes, demonstrations and sit-ins to block public roads in a manner that prevents the movement of traffic and operation of government and non-government institutions.” Para (1) of article 14 gives authority to the police to specify the route of protests under “specific conditions” which, again, are not defined either. Para (1) of article 11 states that:

Gatherings, strikes, demonstrations and sit-ins shall not be held in the following places: 1) within 500 metres of military facilities; 2) within 500 metres of explosive and combustible material storage spaces; 3) in border regions; 4) within 200 metres of hospitals, kindergartens, nurseries, holy sites, schools, higher education institutions, and government administrations; 5) in the vicinity of critical and important storage facilities and resources; 6) in the vicinity of detention centres (prisons, detention centres, [police] custody centres, and juvenile rehabilitation centres); and 7) on public roads that prevent movement of traffic completely.

Given how big cities are constructed in Afghanistan, this seriously limits the choice of available routes and places for demonstrations. Moreover, security concerns over mass protests often lead the government to close the roads along the route of a demonstration. The new rules will so severely restrict where protests can be legally held that is difficult to imagine them now being able to take place in the centre of big cities. Indeed, none of the routes described in the 2014 demonstration regulation would be permissible for protests.

Restrictions on protestors’ right to participate in protests

The current Assembly Law, as well as the new draft, bans protests by members of the Afghan security forces (article 24) and foreign citizens (article 22; who could be expelled from the country).

Para (5) of article 10 of the draft law also bans the participation of children and para (6) bans “influential people” from “politically intervening” in any kind of protest (the term is not defined in the draft). Banning children and ‘influential people’ from participating in protests appears to be contrary to article 36 of the constitution; it gives the right of demonstration or gathering to all citizens of Afghanistan, without any explicit exception. The constitutional right to demonstrate does not only cover the right to be actually present at these civic protests, but appears to cover the broader right to be involved through political, technical and financial support, which might be interpreted as ‘intervention’ under para (6) of article 10.

Other restrictions in the new draft law

Both the current Assembly Law and the new draft ban all kinds of protest when security concerns exist. Article 14 (current Assembly Law) and article 18 (the new draft) state that if the area of gathering, strike, demonstration or sit-in is no longer safe because of security concerns, protesters must immediately leave the area. Articles 8 and 29 (the new draft) say that protests will be allowed when there are no security concerns. However, neither the current law, nor the draft provides a specific and clear definition or description of the term “security concerns.” This vagueness can easily be misused by the government. The cancelation of a demonstration on 24 July 2017, on the date of anniversary of the 23 July 2016 Enlightenment demonstration and suicide attack, could be an example here, at least according to MP Raihana Azad, a member of the high council of the Enlightenment Movement and the only female MP from Uruzgan province. She said the Kabul police sent two letters to the Enlightenment Movement warning of the high possibility of terrorist attacks against protesters during their planned demonstration. It said that if they wanted to protest, they would be responsible for any consequences. As a result, the organisers cancelled the demonstration, despite not being convinced about the reality of security threats.

Para (6) of article 10 of the draft bans hunger strikes that could result in the death of the hunger striker(s). (A strike (etesab) in the new draft is defined as “the collective abstention by employees of governmental or non-governmental organisations from working, or the refraining from eating, which they exercise in order to achieve a specific goal.”

New divisions of responsibilities and authorities

The draft has given new responsibilities to the organisers of demonstrations, gatherings, strikes and sit-ins, which are legally problematic. Para (4) of article 9, for instance, makes the organisers responsible for any unlawful action that happens during the protests, regardless of whether the organisers had any role, whether active or passive, in the unlawful act. This is against the ‘modes of liability principle’ that crime is a personal act, guaranteed in article 26 of the constitution. Para (2) of article 25 (Chapter Five: Criminal Provisions) obliges the organisers “to prevent the protesters from resorting to arbitrary violence and, if they are unable to do so, to report the issue to the security authorities.” Para (3) of article 25 also obliges the organisers to identify protesters who commit violence and introduce them to the police. This seems not only impractical, but to also interfere with article 134 of the constitution, which stipulates that the investigation of a criminal act is the responsibility of police. Identifying perpetrators is part of investigating a criminal act. Putting this responsibility on the shoulders of organisers is akin to giving permission to random people to intervene in a criminal investigation and prosecution processes, something which is not allowed by the Criminal Procedure Code. Moreover, the organisers are unlikely to have the capacity to do so.

In relation to the authority of the police, the new draft law is technically clearer than the existing law. Article 5 of the draft law names the Ministry of Interior as the enforcing authority of the Assembly Law. Only when the police are unable to control violence during protests, can it ask help from other security forces, according to para (3) of article 17.

Police obligations, duties and authorities are covered under chapter three (article 14 to 20) of the draft law. Article 17 gives the police the authority to use physical barriers (such as containers and T-walls) and provide riot gear and equipment to policemen if protests turn violent. If protesters continue to commit violence, the police can respond aggressively, including opening fire, based on the Police law (gazetted in 2009). Although this provision is already covered in the current Assembly Law, more details and technical clarity is provided in the draft.

The most egregious point in the draft, however, is the authority given to the police to withhold permission for demonstrations, gatherings, strikes and sit-ins, if they determine they may threaten the public order or there is a security concern (para (3) of article 29). Though the organisers can appeal a refusal to the Ministry of Interior (in Kabul) or the governor’s office (in provinces), the subsequent decision of the ministry or the governor’s office will be final (para (4) of article 29). The police also have the authority to cancel a permission after its issuance it has been given (para 2 of article 20).

  1. How do the new draft and the current Assembly Law protect the freedom of assembly?

Both the current Assembly Law and the draft mention protests as the right of every Afghan citizen. According to article 4 in the new draft (article 2 in the current law):

Citizens of the country shall have the right to gather, strike, demonstrate and sit-in, without carrying weapons and in accordance with the law, for peaceful and lawful purposes which are not against the national interests and provisions of the Constitution.

Article 36 of the constitution foresees the right of “demonstrating and gathering,” without defining this, but does not explicitly mention the right to go on strike or hold a sit-in. ‘Strike’ was added and defined in the current Assembly Law and ‘sit-in’ in the draft of the new assembly law. Recognition and definition (4) of demonstration, gathering, strike and sit-in are the most notable parts of these two legislative documents in terms of maintaining the right to protest.

In addition to that, article 6 of the current Assembly Law obliges the government to ensure the security of the protesters. This provision has been removed from the draft.

Both the draft and the currently Assembly Law prevent intervention by the police in ongoing peaceful protests, ie those which are conducted in accordance to the law. Both documents forbid the government from prohibiting citizens from using their right to conduct demonstrations, gatherings, strikes and sit-ins without “serious specified excuse[s]”. These two obligations make the government responsible for providing an atmosphere in which citizens can enjoy their right to protest.

Though the mentioned provisions are strong, they are in practice undermined by the many other restrictions and the fact that the government has absolved itself of the responsibility to ensure the security of protesters.

  1. How has Civil Society and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) reacted to the new draft law?

Nine days after the draft was leaked on 8 July 2017, a group of Afghan civil society organisations called a press conference to share their concerns about the draft (full text here). They compared the legislation to the laws of the Afghan communist regime (1979 to 1992) saying that:

The recent National Unity Government’s decision to redraft the demonstration [Assembly] [L]aw, particularly after the last two demonstrations [the Enlightenment demonstration and the [U]prising for [C]hange demonstration] is evidence of an attempt to control the freedom of citizens. This reminds the public of the suppression, torture, and assassination policies that were enacted from the late 1970s to the late 1980s […].

In their press release, they also mentioned:

The draft law stands against all democratic values and principles. The confining and limiting aspects of this draft obviously violates the constitution of Afghanistan, all democratic values, and are against all the gains that we have struggled for during the past fifty years of our history.

The day after the press conference, on 18 July 2017, the Law Committee of the Afghan cabinet invited representatives of civil society organisations and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) to provide their opinions in the draft. According to Khalil Raufi, one of the civil society representatives, they could not review the whole draft in the meeting. Nevertheless, Sarwar Danish asked them to submit their recommendations in writing. In the meeting, Danish asked the representative of the Ministry of Justice to finalise the draft after receiving the recommendations and to submit the draft to the cabinet for its approval.

The AIHRC and the group of civil society organisations submitted their recommendations on 25 July 2017 (see here). They recommended removing all phrases that were open to differing interpretations or that could be misinterpreted. (6) They determined that para (4) of article 9, which holds organisers responsible for any unlawful acts committed by protesters was against article 26 of the constitution and asked for its removal. They also recommended that all protests should be based on the principle of ‘pre-announcement’ rather than ‘pre-permission’ meaning that protesters do not need to gain permission to protest, but rather that informing the police should be enough.

(So far, there has been no organised response from other parties, whether economic groupings of business people or trade unions) or political parties. Nor has the draft been debated in parliament.)

  1. How do the two main mass opposition movements view the draft law?

The Enlightenment Movement has not had any public position on the new draft of the Assembly Law, but MP Raihana Azad of its high council, criticised the government’s move in a conversation with AAN on 13 August 2017. She accused President Ghani and a close circle around him in the palace of trying to shut up any voice against the government by re-writing the Assembly Law:

Demonstrations and media are two tools that citizens and political opponents have to raise their voices against the policies and failures of the National Unity Government. The draft [of the new Assembly Law] indirectly and practically bans demonstrations, even though it determines demonstration as a right of citizens. The barriers on place, in the draft, are set in such a way that the protesters cannot find places in big cities for their demonstrations. They are not allowed to demonstrate close to universities, schools, hospitals, military facilities and explosive materials storages. The protesters are banned to close roads during their protest, which is impossible to avoid in practice.

The Uprising for Change movement released a statement at the end of their final demonstration on 27 July 2017, denouncing the draft as against the constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (see here) Asar Hakimi, a member of the leadership council, told AAN on 14 August 2017 that he believed the current Assembly Law was being re-drafted to restrict civic movements like his own. He believed the curtailment of sit-ins to only three days was, in particular, a direct response to their 18 day sit-ins and protest tents in June 2017. Hakimi also complained that even now, the situation for protesters was not easy; when the Uprising for Change informed Kabul police about their second demonstration, it took almost a week for the permission was issued, though the police are obliged to provide a space for protest 24 hours after an application is submitted.

Edited by Martine van Bijlert, Sari Kouvo, Jelena Bjelica and Kate Clark

 

(1) For example, on 5 October 2016, during the Brussels Conference for Afghanistan, where most of Afghanistan’s international donors came together to promise their support for the coming four years, a demonstration against President Ghani’s development policy was organised in Brussels. The protesters asked Afghanistan’s international donors to support the Afghan government on the condition that there would be no more discrimination. Inside the country, public discontent among the Hazara population increased against the president and his national adviser, Hanif Atmar, with some claiming that government officials, including Atmar, had intentionally not provided security to the protesters. For more analysis about the challenges the Enlightenment Movement created to the National Unity Government (NUG), see this previous AAN analysis).

(2) Six months after President Ghani became president of the National Unity Government (NUG), Farkhunda Malikzada, a young woman, was cruelly beaten to death and her body burned by a mob in the centre of Kabul, while dozens of Afghan policemen watched (more details here and here). The shocking crime in the middle of the city led to a large demonstration in front of the Supreme Court on 24 March 2015 (more details about the prosecution of the perpetrators here). The protesters criticized the NUG’s security forces for its failure to protect Farkhunda, noting that the atrocity occurred within a few kilometres of the presidential palace, and went on for more than half an hour. They demanded that the Supreme Court prosecute both the perpetrators and the policemen who did not prevent the murder (see here).

(3) On 11 November 2015, thousands of Kabul citizens demonstrated and marched toward Pashtunistan square, where one of the entries of the presidential palace is located. The protesters had named their demonstration Enqilab-e Tabasum (Tabasum Revolution), after Shukria Tabasum, a nine-year old girl, one of seven Hazaras who had been abducted and beheaded by anti-government forces in Zabul province (local officials claimed that ISIS had committed this atrocity). They had been part of a larger group of 31 Hazaras who had been taken hostage on their way from Kandahar to Kabul and held for 50 days, before being beheaded (see here). The massive demonstration and the fact that a group of angry protesters managed to enter the grounds of the presidential palace (but were stopped after the security guards opened fire), greatly alarmed the government (see this AAN dispatch for more details and this article).

(4) On 16 May 2016, the Enlightenment Movement held its first demonstration, which was even larger than the one that took place a few weeks later on 23 July 2016. Karim Khalili, the former second-vice president under Karzai (now the chairman of the High Peace Council), was one of the organisers that time. He left the movement to create a joint technical committee, established by President Ghani, that was to revise the route of TUTAP line. However the main body of the movement did not accept the governmental led committee and continued their protest.

(5) Based on this regulation, demonstrations can only be conducted on the following routes 1) Shahid Mazari Square toward Haji Nabi [Omid Sabz] town (west and southwest Kabul); 2) Kutal-e Khairkhana to Cheshm-e Dugh (north Kabul); 3) Chaman-e Hozuri (centre of the city); 4) Kart-e Naw to Ahmad Shah Baba Maineh Square (east Kabul); and 5) Beni Hesar to Pul-e Sang Naweshta (south Kabul). Parks, such as Shahr-e Naw Park, Chaman-e Hozuri and Park-e Heseh Awal-e Khairkhana, were allocated for gatherings and sit-ins.

(6) For example sub para 3 of para (1) of article 8 states: “the organisers [of protests] shall commit not to carry weapons, lacerating and battery tools, not to disrupt the public order and safety and not to promote divisions, hatred, discrimination, violence and conflict.” They suggested to only keep “shall not carry weapons, lacerating and battery tools” and remove the other parts.

(7) In the new draft, demonstrations, gatherings, strikes (with mini-changes compare to the current Assembly Law) and sit-ins are defined as follows:

Gathering: an assembly of more than 10 people in an organised and coordinated manner in a public space where they express their opinion and sentiments regarding a legitimate and lawful matter to attract the government and public opinion regarding the matter.

Strike: the collective abstention by employees of governmental or non-governmental organisations from working or refraining from eating which they exercise in order to achieve a specific goal.

Demonstration: a peaceful, organised and public gathering and march of people on a specified route to express their sentiments or make specific demands.

Sit-in: a situation where one, or more than one, person occupies a specific place by setting up tents, or without tents, in order to make legitimate and lawful demands or see his/her absolute rights or those of other persons fulfilled.

 

 

 

 

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Thematic Category: Rights & Freedoms