The Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights – YUCOM demands from the authorities in Serbia that by the decisions of their organs do not impose restrictions on the freedom of peaceful assembly contrary to guarantees contained in the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia and in international standards of freedom of peaceful assembly. The recent prohibition of assembly of Falun Dafa’s (Falun Gong’s) members, shortly before the visit of the President of the People’s Republic of China, is the example of the adoption of arbitrary and political decision, which represents an illegal and illegitimate restriction of the freedom of peaceful assemblies.
After finding out about the decision on prohibition, YUCOM’s legal team has, in a timely manner, reacted providing free legal aid and representing Falun Dafa’s members, but the procedure for protecting rights under the new Act on Public Assemblies has already in the first test, proved as ineffective. The Administrative Court has missed out that by timely submitted complaints make decisions before the planned terms of the assembly. The procedures in these cases are still in progress, despite the fact that from the planned terms for assemblies has passed 5 i.e. 6 days. This only confirmed adequacy for the objections that YUCOM stated during the public hearing before the adoption of the Act.
This has additionally strengthened the argument for the necessity of amendments to the Act in order to harmonize it with the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, and with international standards of freedom of peaceful assembly. Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights calls authorities in Serbia to finally establish an effective mechanism for the protection of freedom of assembly which will disable arbitrary and political prohibitions based on discriminatory basis, in order to citizens could enjoy a guaranteed right to freedom of assembly.
In Belgrade, June 23rd 2016