May 19, 2024

Right to protest at risk: Laws may restrict freedom of demonstration

The NGO sees the right to protest at risk

New laws may restrict freedom of demonstration

Today, April 5, 2024 | 09:46

New public order powers aimed at preventing “disruptive” protests will come into force in the UK from Friday. A British newspaper reported on this.The Independent“.

Severe penalties are threatened

The so-called Prevention of Serious Disturbance Orders are part of the Public Order Act 2023 passed last year, aimed at preventing people from causing serious disruption during repeated protests.

Violation of such an order is a criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for a maximum period of six months and/or an unlimited fine.

These orders can be imposed on those who have committed “resistance-related” offenses such as being “locked up” (for example, in a human chain or stuck to the ground) at least twice, or who break the rules. A restraining order.

The Ministry of Home Affairs wants to ensure the safety of everyday public life

Britain's Home Office says the measures are designed to ensure people exercise their democratic right to protest, while the public can go about their daily lives safely and without serious disruption.


In the government's view, public order is at serious risk when protests disrupt daily life, construction or maintenance work, delay the delivery of time-critical products, or marginally affect access to essential goods and services.

Human rights organizations threaten the right to protest

Human rights organization “Liberty” sees the law as an attack on the right to protest.

“These actions are a shameless attempt to prevent people from having their voices heard on the issues that matter most to them,” Liberty's policy and campaigns officer Jody Beck was quoted as saying.

A critique of the ambiguous legal situation

He criticized the government for repeatedly introducing new laws in recent years that restrict the right to protest.

The legal situation is now very dangerous, as the laws are so vague and ambiguous that the existing laws combined with the measures now decided will lead to people being completely excluded from protest by simple actions like linking poor people with other demonstrators. Aug.

In some places simply staying is against the law

According to The Independent, the new orders could impose a range of restrictions, including banning people from being in a certain place or area, participating in disruptive activities and meeting with protest groups at certain times.

It can also prevent individuals from using the Internet to promote protest-related crimes.

British Home Secretary insists on civil rights

Home Secretary James wisely asserted the people's democratic right to protest. “The public has a democratic right to protest and this government will always support that.

However, the past few months have only shown that they are ready to create chaos and massively disrupt people's daily lives,” Wise said.

See also  After the Treaty with Great Britain: Hopes for the Return of Switzerland's "Horizon Europe".