Saturday, 21, September, 2019

The Uzbek Interior Ministry has published the draft Rallies, Assemblies and Demonstrations of Citizens Bill for public consultation until June 27.

The draft bill shall not apply to rallies, assemblies and demonstrations by political parties, public and religious associations.

The draft prohibits holding the said events in order to overthrow the constitutional system, inciting national, racial or religious hatred, propaganda of violence and war, as well as to discredit the government bodies.

Persons ruled as incapable by court, registered in psychiatric or narcological institutions, sentenced to imprisonment, foreign citizens and stateless persons, leaders or members of non-governmental non-profit organizations liquidated or not registered in the country, and whose activities are suspended or banned are not allowed to organize these events.

Only adult citizens of Uzbekistan can participate in a rally, assembly or demonstration.

During a rally, meeting or demonstration, its participants are obliged to observe public order and the procedure for holding the event, comply with the legal requirements by the executive authorities and law enforcement agencies, and are not allowed to use masks and other objects that conceal their identity.

It is forbidden to carry weapons, explosives, flammable or poisonous substances, pyrotechnic products and radioactive materials, use alcohol, psychotropic or other substances that affect their actions, as well as prevent the movement of vehicles and pedestrians. The use of vehicles at the venue of a rally, meeting or demonstration is also prohibited by the draft bill.

For a rally, meeting or demonstration, one must obtain permission. The application must be submitted by the organizer or by one or several participants to the local executive authority, in hard or soft copy, no later than 30 working days before the day of public activity.

After reviewing, the executive authority shall coordinate the decision to issue a permit with the local police and the National Guard of Uzbekistan, as well as with the relevant authorities and departments.

In the event of unconformity of the event with the law, as well as security and public order and other reasonable reasons received from one or several interested bodies and departments, the executive authority shall refuse to issue permission and sends a response letter to the applicant.

Assemblies can be held only in specially designated places designated by the authorities in coordination with the local police, the National Guard and interested authorities and departments.

The draft bill prohibits the allocation of places at a distance of less than 500 meters from the following facilities and territories:

  • Governmental administrative buildings, local executive authorities, law enforcement agencies, paramilitary, significant and categorized objects;
  • buildings of foreign diplomatic missions and international organizations;
  • courts and penal institutions;
  • buildings, structures and territories related to the air, rail, water and road transport systems;
  • territories related to border areas and special security regimen areas;
  • buildings and territories occupied by social facilities (educational, medical, children's and other institutions);
  • cemeteries and religious organizations;
  • buildings occupied by mass media;
  • historical and cultural monuments;
  • private property.

The draft bill also limits the time for holding rallies, assemblies and demonstrations - only for weekdays and only between 10.00 to 17.00.

These events should be financed by either the organizer and participants themselves or other sources not prohibited by law. Financing and providing property for organizing and holding events by foreign states, international and foreign non-governmental and non-profit organizations, or on their instructions from other persons is prohibited.

When holding a rally, assembly or demonstration, local authorities are obliged to attend the event and assist the organizer or active participants in its holding, as well as ensure public order, safety of people and law enforcement together with the police, the National Guard and organizer.

The bill states that if an international treaty of Uzbekistan establishes other rules than those provided by the national legislation on rallies, assemblies and demonstrations, then the rules of an international treaty shall apply.

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