• Switzerland's news in English
 
app_header_v3

UN expert slams Geneva demo ban plan

AFP · 9 Mar 2012, 13:12

Published: 09 Mar 2012 13:12 GMT+01:00

A UN independent expert on Friday slammed a proposal to tighten laws on demonstrations in the Swiss city of Geneva, saying that it would "unduly restrict" the rights to free expression.

Residents in the city that is home to the UN Human Rights Council and Red Cross will vote on Sunday on whether to allow authorities to impose fines of up to 100,000 francs ($110,000) on anyone who does not obtain permission to demonstrate and who does not abide by agreed conditions.

The cantonal government-backed amendments would also allow authorities to require changes to demonstration itineraries, if they posed "disproportionate risks to people" and their property, a move that would give officials the power to ban gatherings in the city centre.

"The exercise of fundamental freedoms should not be subject to a previous authorisation by the authorities," said Maina Kiai, the UN special rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association.

The 100,000-franc potential fine was "disproportionate, and would have a chilling effect on the enjoyment of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of expression," he added.

"Switzerland is leading important initiatives with respect to the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.

Story continues below…

"The proposed changes to the law on demonstrations in the canton of Geneva are not in consonance with these positive efforts," he said.

Your comments about this article

2012-03-10 00:55:57 by Global Macro
Who is the UN "independent expert" to admonish anyone? By what authority does the UN express such an opinion. Who in Switzerland voted to give the UN or this bureaucrat authority over the laws Geneva? The UN is one of the most corrupt and incompetent institutions in the world. Its members are largely autocratic and oppressive regimes. And the UN Human Rights Council is no better. Has anyone bothered to look at what countries serve on this Council? Among others, China, Lybia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Cuba. Is this who is now charged with ratifying Swiss laws? What's more, the proposed law in Geneva would regulate public demonstrations, not simply speech or expressions of opinion. These people from the UN are left wing troublemakers, nothing more. They want to promote riots against capitalist countries. Their comments should be given no credence whatsoever. There was no specific criticism detailng any proposed regulation of public demonstrations in the proposed law.
Today's headlines
Foreigners in Switzerland surpass 2 million mark
International flags outside the UN in Geneva. Photo: Martial Trezzini/AFP

For the first time, there are now more than two million foreigners living in Switzerland.

Geneva runs out of permits for non-EU workers
File photo: The Local

Canton complains to the federal government after it reduced the number of permits available to third state workers.

Scorchio! Late August heat breaks record in Geneva
Lake Geneva on Thursday. Photo: The Local

The mercury in Geneva hit 33.3 degrees, a record for the final week in August.

US and Russia meet in Geneva for Syria talks
John Kerry with UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Geneva on Thursday for a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

Expert predicts major quake for Switzerland by 2040
A fireman stands in the Italian village of Amatrice, which was badly hit by this week's earthquake. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

The canton of Valais is particularly at risk.

Aggressive deer put down after attacking four in Geneva
File photo: Michal Kosacky

The buck attacked four people in the same area over the course of 48 hours.

Navigation error ends badly for Basel driver

A man accidentally drove his car down a flight of steps after his passenger directed him the wrong way.

Blatter 'confident' as he faces Swiss sports court
Sepp Blatter. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Former Fifa boss Sepp Blatter is back in court on Thursday as he seeks to overturn a six-year ban from football.

Federer teams up with Nadal for new tennis tournament
Federer and Nadal at the Laver Cup launch with Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. Photo: Alex Goodlett/Getty Images North America/AFP

The duo will play doubles together in a new competition pitting Europe against the rest of the world in a tennis team event.

Geneva advises teachers on religion in school
File photo: C Carlstead

The secular canton of Geneva has issued guidelines for teachers on how to deal with religious issues in the classroom.

Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Photo: Starship
Technology
Swiss Post trials robot parcel deliveries in Bern
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Photo: AFP
Politics
Survey: Swiss optimistic about Brexit effect
Photo: Neil Heritage/Endeavour Fund
Features
Amputee's Matterhorn trek 'makes it more possible' for others
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Photo: EPFL
International
Switzerland tops global innovation table – again
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Photo: Vasily Cotovanu
National
Asylum centre plans shelved after Swiss village protests
Photo: The Local
Politics
Neuchâtel looks to boost rights for foreigners
Photo: AFP
Sport
In pictures: final day success takes Swiss to seven medals
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Photo: AFP
National
Experts debate rail security following Swiss train attack
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
File photo: AFP
Sport
Two basejumpers die in Lauterbrunnen accidents
Photo: AFP
International
Amnesty fears for child migrants at Italian border
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Photo: AXA Winterthur
National
Report: Geneva is Swiss capital of car theft
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Photo: Dani Pozo/AFP
National
Top tips for watching the meteor shower in Switzerland
File photo: Andrew Turner
Technology
Swiss start-up to offer drone service to farmers
Photo: Beat Strasser
National
British quadruple amputee summits Matterhorn
Photo: Judit Klein
National
Switzerland sees rise in child victims of forced marriage
Photo: Michael Schlick/OS Muhr
National
Swiss hiker in Austria rescued after sending SOS to America
Photo: Chris Murphy
Features
14 mistakes foreigners make on moving to Switzerland
Photo: AFP
Lifestyle
Swiss resort unveils huge ‘natural’ fresco on mountain
Photo: C Sonderegger/Swiss Tourism
National
Five great Swiss traditions all expats should try
Photo: AFP
National
Confirmed cases of Zika virus soar in Switzerland
Photo: eGuide Travel
National
Prison for woman who faked Swiss airport bomb threat
Photo: AFP
Technology
Swiss solar plane completes epic round-the-world trip
4,610
jobs available