In defence of public speech in public space – IA against restrictions of public assemblies

A month ago, Institute Alternative has sent a letter to the Minister of Interior regarding the amendments to the Law on public assembly and public performances, announced by Minister Nuhodžić in his answer to the MP’s question. Minister has announced the amendments aiming to ban the public assemblies on the city roads, due to alleged violation of the freedom of movement as well as alleged damage to the economy, as the consequence of the assemblies organised in front of the Parliament building in Podgorica.

It is our duty to point out the fact that the freedom of peaceful public assembly represents a fundamental human right, protected by the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights. Announced amendments would stipulate absolute ban of the assemblies on specific location, which would endanger this right and, thus violate the Constitution and relevant international standards safeguarding this freedom.

Institute Alternative reminds that the international standards stipulate that it is the privilege of the citizens to choose the time and place of the assembly in accordance with its purpose. Additionally, standards state that the blanket restrictions and absolute bans on certain locations are by their very nature problematic since they are not in compliance with the mandatory principle of proportionality, which must be conducted on a case by case basis, rather than in advance.

Both letter are available below (only in Montenegrin).

Letter to the Ministry of Interior, sent on April 13th 2017

Letter to the Ministry of Interior, sent on May 12th 2017

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