Peaceful Assembly

Article 17 of the Constitution upholds the freedom of assembly, with reservations on such grounds as sovereignty, harmony and public order. There is no requirement to seek prior approval for assemblies, unless disruption of traffic is expected or a security presence is requested, and spontaneous protests are allowed. However, assemblies may be prevented and curfews imposed if violence or rioting is anticipated. CSOs have reported restrictions being applied in some regions. The excessive use of force to disperse protests remains a problem. Violent protests, including border blockades, took place in 2015 against the new constitution, by minority groups concerned about the weakening of their voice in the new provincial structure. There were at least 50 deaths, of both protesters and security forces, and security forces used excessive force, including live ammunition, while a number of protest leaders were charged with sedition. The government has failed to investigate security force violence adequately. Pro-Tibet demonstrations have also been supressed.