Discussion of the concept of a law on peaceful assembly

On March 5, 2020, a meeting of the Public Council was held with the participation of the Minister of Information and Public Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan D. Abayev to discuss the draft law on the organization and holding of peaceful meetings at Friendship House of Karaganda. The meeting was attended by public figures, government agencies of Karaganda region representatives of political parties, public associations, trade union organizations, as well as lawyers and journalists, who were able to express their suggestions and ask questions to the developers of the bill.

Candidate of Juridical Sciences Professor B.K. Syzdyk and Director of Rukhaniyat Research center  A.U. Aupenova were the speakers at the meeting.

The full text of the project is available at egov.kz, where everyone can see it. As noted by the Information Minister after the text of the project was posted on the portal of electronic government, it has a record number of comments and views. “We have already removed some norms from the original version now, with which both Kazakhstanis and the head of state disagreed. For example, on his instructions, the norm that peaceful assemblies with the participation of over 250 people should be permissive has disappeared from the law. Now in the project it is a question of that all meetings, irrespective of quantity of participants, were notifying character. That is, to hold a rally you do not need to obtain permission, but only to send a notice to local executive bodies,” Abayev said.

The Minister also stressed that the authorized places for the meeting would be located not in the outskirts, but in crowded places with developed infrastructure. Another novelty in the draft law is that persons under 18 years of age may participate in peaceful assemblies.

“There used to be a restriction – from the age of 18. Frankly speaking, we didn’t really want to remove that restriction. But we had to remove it because it’s a requirement of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was ratified by Kazakhstan, where the right of the child to freedom of peaceful assembly is recognized. Thus, citizens under 18 are allowed to participate in peaceful assemblies,” the minister said.

More than 30 round-table participants were able to make suggestions. “A great many interesting ideas were voiced. And such meetings are definitely needed. Because it is at these meetings, really, good ideas appear. We necessarily should carry out the certain analysis, whether corresponds to the legislation, whether contradicts the legislation” Minister Abayev has summed up the results of round table.

The concept of the draft Law “On the order of organization and holding of peaceful assemblies in the Republic of Kazakhstan”, as well as the draft Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On the order of organization and holding of peaceful assemblies in the Republic of Kazakhstan” are available at https://legalacts.egov.kz/npa/view?id=3074745.

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