Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, January 21st, 2019

Draft Law on Protests Calls for Strict Limitations

Draft Law on Protests Calls  for Strict Limitations

KABUL - If approved by parliament, the new draft law would give government the authority to ban demonstrations for security reasons and in sensitive areas.
MPs and civil rights activists on Monday slammed a new draft law which calls for restrictions to be imposed on demonstrations.
The draft law, which has been seen by TOLOnews, gives government the authority to prevent demonstrations in sensitive areas; ban protests for security reasons and limits the pitching of tents.
It also lays out guidelines for protest organizers and states they have to avoid blocking roads; maintain a distance of 500 meters from military installations and 200 meters from government and educational facilities; prevent interference by powerful people; evacuate an area in the event of any security threat and limit all protests to no more than three days.
However, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said it is still working on the draft law.
The MoJ said that the draft law, which is made up of six chapters and 33 articles, was discussed for the first time at a cabinet meeting a week ago.
“The draft law on gatherings, strikes, protests has been sent to the ministry of justice; the ministry of justice studied the law and the law has been certified by the law commission of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” said MoJ spokesman Aman Riazat.
The draft law also contains a section that maps out the authorities of security forces in dealing with protests.
But MPs said it was unacceptable to impose restrictions on public gatherings and demonstrations.
“If government plans to put restrictions on protests, it means government is silencing the voice of the people and this is unacceptable to the representatives of the people of Afghanistan,” said MP Zaheer Saadat.
“The government is pursuing a repressive policy against the people,” said civil society activist Laila Jaffari.
The draft law is expected to be referred to parliament once the views of civil society activists and the human rights commission have been taken in to account. (Tolonews)