New Police Code undermines right to peaceful protest

Peaceful Assembly

A new Police Code was approved on 29th July. Critics warn that the code is a setback for citizens' fundamental freedoms, since it allows authorities to dissolve social protests when they are deemed to cause "alterations to coexistence."  The Code also states that people are required to inform the authorities in advance about any plans to hold a demonstration. 


On 4th August, while trying to record an arrest being made by the police, two television journalists from CityTV were attacked by members of the National Police. On 6th August, the journalists appeared before the Institute of Forensic Medicine to complain about the physical assaults they had received. During this appearance, they were once again threatened by the police in an attempt to prevent them from submitting their complaints. The National Police subsequently announced the opening of a disciplinary investigation against the officers responsible for the attacks and pledged to publicise the findings. The Foundation for Freedom of the Press (FLIP) is of the opinion that there is sufficient material evidence to conclude on police officers' responsibility for these assaults. FLIP is demanding that tough sanctions be imposed on those responsible. According to FLIP, 157 journalists have been the victims of various attacks, threats or obstructions to their work since the beginning of 2016.