Top court rejects injunction to lift ban on gatherings

Top court rejects injunction to lift ban on gatherings

Greece’s highest administrative court, the Council of State (CoS), rejected on Monday an injuction submitted by the the party Mera25, human rights groups and ordinary citizens to lift a blanket ban on rallies ahead of the anniversary of the 1973 Polytechnic student uprising on November 17, citing the public interest and the protection of public health.

CoS President Mary Sharp introduced the applicants' request to the court's plenary for discussion.

The four-day ban on gatherings of more than four persons has sparked a political controversy with the government sparring with opposition parties over the legality of the measure which was issued by the Greek Police (ELAS) on Sunday.

It has also created divisions among legal experts and bodies, with the Association of Judges and Prosecutors saying that a blanket ban is illegal and calling for its withdrawal, while prominent professors of constitutional law, including Evangelos Venizelos, Nikos Alivizatos and Antonis Manitakis, arguing in favour of the ban.

The measure is explicitly aimed at preventing gatherings and marches in commemoration of the 1973 student uprising against the then military regime.

Violations will incur fines from 300 euros (for participants) to 5,000 (for organizers).

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