• Switzerland edition
 

UN expert slams Geneva demo ban plan

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

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

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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
Expats lace up running shoes for Swiss races
Runners take in mountain scenery in the Aletsch half marathon. Photo: Kathy Zimmerman

Expats lace up running shoes for Swiss races


From the simply beautiful to the downright barmy, Switzerland's vast array of running races are a great way for expats to integrate into the Swiss way of life, The Local's Caroline Bishop learns. READ () »

Unit sale drives rise in Novartis Q1 net profits
Photo: Sebastien Bozon/AFP

Unit sale drives rise in Novartis Q1 net profits

Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Novartis on Thursday posted a 24-percent jump in first-quarter net profit from the same period a year earlier, driven largely by the sale of a blood transfusion diagnostics unit. READ () »

Doctor acquitted for aiding senior’s suicide
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Doctor acquitted for aiding senior’s suicide

A Neuchâtel cantonal court has overturned the conviction of a doctor found guilty of breaking the law by helping an 89-year-old man die without getting a proper diagnosis of his condition. READ () »

Vote set for ban on food trading 'speculation'
Photo: Michael Buholzer

Vote set for ban on food trading 'speculation'

The Swiss will vote on a proposal to ban speculation on agricultural commodities and food, the government said on Wednesday, announcing that organizers had gathered enough signatures to put the issue to a referendum. READ () »

Tweet exposes Iran trip by right-wing Swiss MPs
Swiss People's Party MP Luzi Stamm. Photo: Federal Parliament

Tweet exposes Iran trip by right-wing Swiss MPs

Six members of the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP) wanted to discreetly visit Iran without publicity last week but one of them inadvertently made the trip public in a tweet. 
 READ () »

Armadillo and crocodile meat seized at border
"Bush meat" seized by customs agents. Photo: Federal Customs Administration

Armadillo and crocodile meat seized at border

A Frenchman living in Switzerland was caught entering the country from France with unusual contraband in his suitcase: 16 kilograms of meat from exotic species native to the African jungle. READ () »

UN health agency hits back at vaccine foes
WHO headquarters in Geneva. Photo: Yann Forget

UN health agency hits back at vaccine foes

The Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO) hit back on Wednesday against vaccine deniers who claim that immunization is pointless, risky and that the body is better off fighting disease unaided. READ () »

More protection sought for Lavaux vineyards
Photo: Malcolm Curtis/The Local

More protection sought for Lavaux vineyards

Voters in the canton of Vaud are set to go to the polls for a third time next month to decide on the future of Lavaux, the celebrated vineyard region east of Lausanne. READ () »

Zurich Insurance study warns of cyber risks
Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Zurich Insurance study warns of cyber risks

Organizations must dramatically improve their response to cyber risks to avoid a new global shock on the scale of the financial crisis that rocked the world in 2008, a study from a Swiss-based insurer concludes. READ () »

Zurich inaugurates city's giant quartzite plaza
Image: Raumgleiter

Zurich inaugurates city's giant quartzite plaza

The city of Zurich inaugurated the largest plaza in Switzerland on Tuesday night after a 17.2-million-franc ($19.5-million) facelift. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Bern finds solution for Erasmus student exchange programme
National
Bern zoo faces animal cruelty charges over bear cub deaths
Society
Swiss alpine ski champion announces same-sex marriage
Features
Former industrial zone transforms into Zurich’s trendiest spot
Tech
Swiss Solar Impulse team shows off new fuel-free aircraft
International
Suspect in Liechtenstein bank CEO murder case 'likely dead'
Sponsored Article
Caveman comedy comes to Zurich in English
Society
Innovative building provides refuge for hypersensitive tenants
Tech
VIDEO: Teenage boy sends Swiss army knife into stratosphere
International
Switzerland ranks second in world for social progress: report
National
Pharrell Williams set to perform in first Montreux jazzfest concert
Sport
American wingsuit flyer dies after Bernese Oberland accident
Advertisement:
Business & Money
H&M plans hefty Swiss minimum wage for employees by 2015
International
Caterpillar accused by US senator of dodging taxes through 'Swiss plan'
International
Geneva man in Facebook page fight with Italian carmaker Ferrari
International
Schumacher’s wife pays for 'medical suite' at Swiss family mansion
International
Aborted Swiss airlines take-off injures four at London airport
International
Swiss refuse asylum request from topless protest group founder
Business & Money
British expat former banker to head Swiss finance regulator FINMA
National
Swiss honey contains harmful plastic: TV consumer affairs report
Business & Money
Luxury watchmaker Patek Philippe threatens Geneva exit over taxes
Business & Money
World's largest watch fair opens in Basel amid uncertain times
International
'Fergie' credits hikes around Verbier mountains for recent weight loss
Etoiles de Montagne
Sponsored Article
How to summer holiday up a Swiss mountain
Swissbenefits
Sponsored Article
How to avoid Switzerland’s tax haven trap
International
Switzerland's residents are the happiest in the OECD: report
Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,088
jobs available