"> The law on demonstrations in Kurdistan to be amended

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October 20, 2011

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Press release

The law on demonstrations in Kurdistan to be amended 

It is a great honor for us to declare that the “The Regulation of Demonstrations Bill of 2010” will be amended. It is useful to remind every interested stakeholder, that the federation previously conducted various activities and issued many statements concerning the need for an amendment of the bill. Those activities originated from the realization that there were a host of shortcomings in the bill that needed careful considerations and amendments. The activities by the federation culminated in the establishment of the 12/12 group, which initiated a series of demonstrations condemning the signing of the bill into law by the Parliament and later by the presidency of the Kurdistan Regional Government. The main demand voiced then and now, is replacing the “permission” conditionality of conducting a demonstration by a requirement to only “notify” the authorities. This demand, in addition to other basic human rights provisions in the bill, would, in our view, ensure the constitutionality of the law. 

In a recent development, a meeting was conducted in the parliament of Kurdistan on October 19, 2011, between the Civil Society Committee in the Parliament and the representatives of 13 non-governmental organizations in the governorates of Erbil, Sulaimaniya and Duhok. An extensive and positive discussion was conducted on the new bill draft for the law of regulating demonstrations in Kurdistan. 

While we are optimistic about the chances for amending the law, we will continue our efforts to ensure that all of the relevant international standards of practicing demonstration as a basic right of citizens are respected.  Any amendment that would result in different outcomes would undermine the protection of an essential element of human rights in Kurdistan and would result in prohibiting demonstrations rather than regulating them.  The Federation of Civil Society Organizations  15 NGO and a group of activist in Iraqi Kurdistan

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