Statewatch article: RefNo# 32435
UN-UK: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai: Mission to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Statewatch News Online, June 2013
The recommendations include:
  • adopt a positive law on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly whose purpose is to facilitate and protect such right, in full consultation with civil society and other relevant stakeholders;
  • undertake a judge-led public enquiry into the Mark Kennedy matter, and other related cases, with a view to giving voice to victims, especially women, who were deliberately deceived by their own government, and paving the way for reparations;
  • review legislation governing undercover policing specifying that peaceful protestors should not be infiltrated;
  • adopt a law on intelligence gathering with a view to increasing accountability of intelligence services;
  • delete any records of peaceful protestors on the National Domestic Extremism Database and other intelligence databases;
  • adopt a tighter definition of “domestic extremism” and instruct police officers that peaceful protestors should not be categorized as domestic extremists;
  • end the practice of containment or „kettling.;
  • ensure that law enforcement authorities which violate the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly are held personally and fully accountable for such violations by an independent and democratic oversight body, and by the courts of law; in this regard, command responsibility must be upheld;
  • law enforcement officers should wear identification badges at all times;
  • stop using pre-emptive measures targeted at peaceful protestors;
  • stop using stop-and-search powers in the context of peaceful protests;
  • stop imposing stringent bail conditions on peaceful protestors;
  • establish a protest ombudsman before whom protestors can challenge bail conditions;
  • stop enforcing private injunctions against peaceful protestors;
  • separate the protest liaison function from intelligence gathering;
  • always allow independent monitoring during peaceful protests and assemblies and ensure at all time the protection of those monitoring and reporting on violations and abuses in this context;
  • grant more powers to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, by notably allowing the Commission to report before the Parliament, and increasing its resources; protestors should be able to bring complaints directly to the Commission; and a greater mixed nature of investigators should be achieved; and
  • Private companies should stop requesting private injunctions orders against peaceful protestors.

    See: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai: Mission to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (pdf)

    See also: UN Special Rapporteur calls for a "judge-led public inquiry" into undercover police operations and condemns a number of other police practices (Statewatch News Online, January 2013)

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