European Civil Rights Commissioner urges British lawmakers to reject some of the new police bill

European human rights officials said imposing time and noise limits on protests could have a significant impact on the right to freedom of expression and assembly.

Dunja Mijatović of the Human Rights Commission of the Council of Europe said she has on Monday Written by a British lawmaker Both Houses of Parliament urged them to reject the provisions of a new bill that would impose new restrictions on protests.

Police, crime, judgment, and court billsCovers a wide range of issues and empowers police to “impose conditions on protests that are so noisy that they” threaten or harass “bystanders or cause” serious anxiety, vigilance, or distress. I will. This includes one protest. ..

Critics respond to several devastating Black Lives Matter and Extinction Rebellion protests that caused road closures, newspaper print interruptions, and statue vandalism last year. Is concerned that widespread rules give police discretion to limit protests.

Extinction Rebellion UK
On-site police and fire brigade on September 5, 2020, in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, England, as protesters continue to block roads. (Yui Mok / PA via AP)

In her letter (pdf) To British lawmakers Thursday, Mijatovic told British lawmakers that protests were often destructive in nature, and that the provisions of the bill were “often widely formulated and at risk of being arbitrarily applied” internationally. And fully share the concerns of domestic stakeholders.

This provision may contradict Articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, interpreted by the European Court of Human Rights, which requires that interference with the right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly be legal and necessary. There is sex. In proportion to that, Mijatovic added.

The person responsible for human rights said, “The council
European member states often implicitly sought to introduce restrictions on peaceful demonstrations.
Since taking office, it has been driven by the government’s desire to minimize the possibility of opposition. “

“We are seriously concerned that the UK will join this concern if the above provisions are adopted,” she said.

She urged British lawmakers to reject these provisions, and the government instead focused on promoting peaceful demonstrations “even if they expressed some confusion or controversial views in everyday life.” He added that he should guess.

Mijatovic also raised questions about another provision of the bill on the criminalization of trespassing related to unauthorized camps.

Bill protest kills Manchester
Demonstrators have placards in protest of police, crime, judgment and court bill 2021 in central Manchester on May 1, 2021. (Oli Scarff / AFP via Getty Images)

The regulation is Lower the threshold Existing police rights associated with unauthorized camps can be used, police have removed (or partially) unauthorized camps on the highway, and unauthorized camps have been removed from the site. It is prohibited to return within 12 months.

A joint parliamentary committee on human rights on Friday said the bill protects the human rights of landowners, but there are “significant risks” that can be done. Disproportionate impact A community of gypsies, Roma and travelers.

Mijatovic said the new bill would exacerbate the marginalization of these nomadic communities, “often already in a very marginalized position.”

The new bill has ignited many “killing bills” protests since the second reading in mid-March. One of them turned into a violent riot.

The bill will complete the rest of the process at the House of Commons on Monday. There are also some new fixes (pdf) Voted, including two controversial amendments to abortion.

Pro Life Vigil UK Against Abortion
People will attend an anti-abortion pro-life rally on April 21, 2018 in the streets outside Maryse Stops Clinic, which provides contraceptive and abortion services in Ealing, western London. (AliceRitchie / AFP via Getty Images)

One amendment proposed a “buffer zone” to abortion clinics, making it illegal to influence abortion decisions within 150 meters (yards) of the clinic. Violators may be fined or imprisoned for up to 6 months on the first offense and up to 2 years thereafter.

Another amendment seeks to abolish Articles 58 and 59 of the Offenses Against the Persons Act of 1861. Right To Life, a pro-life camper, argues that the amendment is: Virtually introduced “For some reason, abortion on demand until childbirth.”

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