‘UNDEMOCRATIC’:Civic groups called for changes, such as replacing ‘applications’ to hold rallies with ‘notifications,’ and limiting police’s discretionary power
Date: Dec 04, 2015
By: Abraham Gerber / Staff reporter
Protest regulations should be revised to remove unreasonable restrictions and reduce police discretion, civic groups said yesterday.
“The Assembly and Parade Act (集會遊行法) was fundamentally passed in hopes of preventing people from taking to the streets,” said Assembly and Parade Act Amendment Alliance member Chou Yu-hsiu (周宇修), a lawyer.
“The law was originally titled the ‘Assembly and Parade Act for the Period of the Suppression of the Communist Rebellion’ when it was passed, and the title was changed only after martial law was lifted,” he said.
While provisions of the law had been struck down as unconstitutional by the Judicial Yuan last year, the legislature has yet to pass revisions, he said, calling for requirements that demonstrators “apply” to protest be amended to only require “notification.”
While large demonstrations rarely run into difficulties because of the weight of public opinion, small protests on less well-known issues face many restrictions under the act, along with related portions of the Social Order Maintenance Act (SOMA, 社會秩序維護法) and the Criminal Code, he said. [FULL STORY]