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Prosecutor's office declares ban on rallies in Bishkek illegal

The prosecutor’s office declared a ban on holding rallies in the center of Bishkek until July 1, 2020 unlawful and unreasonable. Press service of the main supervisory body reported.

The Bishkek City Hall adopted a resolution according to which the heads of the administrative districts of the capital were instructed to take appropriate measures to limit holding of peaceful meetings, rallies, marches on their territory until July 1, 2020. They propose to make an exception only for official events organized by state bodies and local authorities. To comply with this decision, the administrations of Pervomaisky, Leninsky and Oktyabrsky districts filed lawsuits to court to limit rallies in the territories entrusted to them, which were granted.

The Bishkek prosecutor’s office found that the requirements to restrict citizens’ rights to rallies, marches and other events, as well as decisions made by district courts, were unfounded and must be canceled.

«According to the Constitution, everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly. The prohibition and restriction of holding of peaceful assemblies, as well as the refusal to properly ensure them due to the lack of notice of holding a peaceful assembly, failure to comply with the notification form, its content and deadlines are not allowed; organizers and participants of peaceful assemblies are not responsible for the lack of notice of holding a peaceful assembly, non-observance of the notification form, its content and deadlines,» the prosecutor’s office notes.

In addition, the exercise of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly cannot be restricted. The exceptions are cases established by law to protect national security, public order, public health and morals, or to protect the rights and freedoms of others.

«State and local governments are obliged to respect and ensure the right to freedom of peaceful assembly without any distinction on the basis of sex, race, language, ethnicity, religion, age, political or other beliefs, origin, property or other status, as well as other circumstances,» the supervisory body reminded.

Permission to ban assemblies may be issued in cases when an assembly pursues unlawful goals, including propaganda for war, advocating ethnic, racial or religious hatred, gender and other social superiority, which constitutes incitement and discrimination, hostility or violence, calls for violation of national security, public order, rights and freedoms of others; holding of counter-meetings to disrupt another meeting.

«Based on this, the prosecutor’s offices of the Pervomaisky, Leninsky and Oktyabrsky districts submitted recommendations on the decisions of the district courts to ban rallies and peaceful assemblies, and the prosecutor’s office of Bishkek submitted a protest to the decision of the Bishkek City Hall,» the statement says.