In Kyrgyzstan, the freedom of assembly is regulated by Law No. 64 on Peaceful Assembly as of May 23, 2012. The country has a notification procedure for holding peaceful assemblies
Procedure for organizing meetings
- organizers can be citizens of any country;
- organizers can be minors;
- a notification about the organization of a meeting shall be submitted not later than 2 business days prior to the date on which the planned meeting is to take place;
- authorities bear all the expenses for the security provided by the police, medical service, and the ground maintenances.
If organizers do not submit a notice or violate the deadlines, the authorities cannot use this as an excuse to prohibit or limit the assembly.
What is allowed?
Organizers and participants have the right:
- to hold spontaneous assemblies;
- to hold meetings near government buildings;
- to hold meetings in the night-time;
- to wear masks;
- to agitate before the start of an assembly;
- to hold simultaneous assemblies.
Restrictions on the right to freedom of assembly
It is prohibited:
- to hold assemblies within a radius of 100 meters from hazardous occupancies, railways, healthcare facilities, and child care centers;
- to hold public actions aimed to influence the court process within a radius of 30 meters from courthouses;
- to incite hatred towards any social group;
- to organize a counter-demonstration to disrupt another peaceful assembly.
Freedom of assembly can be restricted during a state of emergency and martial law, as well as to protect state security, public order, respect for the right to life and to physical and moral integrity. Some public officials can be banned from participating in meetings. Local authorities have to receive permission from the court to ban a meeting. The court makes the final decision to ban a public assembly.
- participants and organized can be fined up to $43 for violation of the procedures regulating public assembly;
- mass rioting during an assembly shall entail criminal liability: a fine of up to $4297 or imprisonment for up to 10 years;
- for illegal obstruction of a peaceful assembly by an official, a fine of up to $ 2,600 or imprisonment of up to 2.5 years is issued;
- liability for public servants is not provided.
Commentaries of experts and participants of assemblies
Rally participants and journalists covering the rallies in Kyrgyzstan called the situation with freedom of assembly in the country favourable. However, there were some cases of violations by the authorities. In particular, problems may arise when holding campaigns in support of the LGBTQIA community, as well as rallies directed against the current government. There were several cases when a court forbade holding assemblies in front of the parliament or limited the venue, but the civil activists successfully appealed these decisions. Civil activists note that it was more difficult to exercise the right to freedom of assembly in Kyrgyzstan until 2010. But, the law adopted in 2012 and the practice of its application are generally consistent with international standards.