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Senators challenge law enabling Czech police to ban protest

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Prague, April 28 (CTK) – The Constitutional Court (US) will deal with the complaint about a part of the law, based on which the police closed a square outside the Prague Castle during the Chinese President’s visit, as the law has been challenged by 18 senators, one of them, Jiri Sestak, told CTK yesterday.
For security reasons, the Czech police prevented an officially permitted protest against violations of human rights in China from being held in the Hradcanske namesti square near the Presidential Office during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping at the end of March. The protest had to be organised elsewhere.
Based on the law on roads, the police closed nearly the whole of the Hradcany district that includes the Prague Castle. Sestak said they violated the right to assemble of officially permitted gatherings.
Sestak said the given law defines neither the reasons of the road closure nor who may apply for the closure.
The complaint was signed mostly by senators from the Christian Democrats (junior ruling KDU-CSL) and the Mayors and Independents (junior opposition STAN) groups.
The organisers of the protest will file an administrative complaint. Lawyer Jan Kalvoda said former Green politicians Katerina Jacques and Martin Bursik will sign the complaint.
Kalvoda said a demonstration can be banned only within three days after it is officially announced and only under certain circumstances set by the law on the right to assemble.

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