Minister tweaks draft bill on rallies and protests

Minister tweaks draft bill on rallies and protests

Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis Monday introduced a series of improvements to a draft bill that seeks to regulate public rallies and protest marches so as to limit their impact on city life.

The minister clarified the clause explaining under which circumstances “spontaneous gatherings” will be allowed, while also introducing additional oversight in decisions to ban or disband a march.

Under the tweaked regulations, the police will need to secure the approval of a first instance court judge to prohibit a rally from taking place and will also have to have the green light from a prosecutor to break up public gatherings.

The bill is also being made more lenient toward participants in banned rallies or protests, scrapping a provision that would see them face up to a year of jail time.

“It should never have been there in the first place,” Chrysochoidis said of the clause.

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