Freedom of gathering
Do you and/or others feel strongly about an issue and want to take action by staging a peaceful protest, but aren’t sure whether you are allowed to by law? The freedom of gathering is a right given by the Constitution, which states that every person has the right to organize gatherings, protests and demonstrations or to participate in them. The Law on Public Gatherings states that police and security institutions should ensure the safety of those organizing and participating in protests and helpguarantee freedom of speech. However, these rights may be limited when it is necessary to safeguard public order, health, national security or the rights of others. Public gatherings also cannot be held within the premises of public institutions.
The Law on Public Gatherings states that organizers of a public gathering or protest must notify the police at least 72 hours in advance and should receive a confirmation or rejection of the right to stage the gathering/protest. The organizers should submit all relevant information regarding the protest (timelines, organizers, expected number of participants, etc). Urgent gatherings can also be staged without the 72 hour notice but in this case the police needs to be informed at least 3 hours in advance.
Any violations of the right to gathering – including permissions to stage protests or violence against protesters – can be addressed to the Police Inspectorate.