Although Article 10 of the constitution provides for the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, peaceful protests are often violently disrupted and protestors attacked. Protestors also need permission for large gatherings, something which is often denied by the authorities. In November 2014, three activists were arrested for staging an anti-slavery roadshow aimed at increasing public awareness on slavery and land rights. Among a litany of charges, the activists were charged with incitement of violence and disturbing public order. This typifies a context in which protestors are sometimes arrested and even sentenced on unspecified charges. In 2013, five activists belonging to the IRA were arrested and charged with taking part in an unlawful assembly. Their arrest related to protests held in solidarity with an 18-year-old girl held as a slave from the age of four. Also in 2013, youth protestors were beaten up at a protest calling for citizens to boycott elections. Protests and solidarity initiatives organised to demand the release of arrested IRA leaders were crushed in 2015.
Civic Space Developments