Thursday , 5 August 2021

MPs Want To Designate A Place For ‘Legal’ Protests

RFL/RE – Members of parliament in Iran have prepared a motion for “implementing” Article 27 of the Islamic Republic’s Constitution, on public gatherings, a legislator has reported.

The new motion will be presented to parliament in a few weeks, after debates on President Hassan Rouhani’s budget bill, according to Abol-Fazl Torabi, quoted in parliament’s news website.

Article 27 of the Islamic Republic’s Constitution stipulates that citizens have the right to hold assemblies, “provided arms are not carried” and the assemblies “are not detrimental to the fundamental principles of Islam”.

But in practice, it is almost impossible to obtain permits for protest gatherings or rallies; a fact many officials have admitted, including former interior minister Mahmoud Mirholi.

Torabi, a member of parliament’s Councils Commission, said the motion “formulates the ways of holding assemblies” as well as their “security related aspects”.

Immediately after the recent widespread uprising against the Islamic Republic’s establishment that surprised and shocked the leaders of the ruling system, Tehran City Council, controlled by the reformist camp, hurriedly ratified a double-urgency motion for allocating a particular location for holding rallies and assemblies.

Six days later, Saturday, January 13, the Interior Ministry’s spokesman, Salman Samani described Tehran City Council’s motion as “merely a proposal” that political and security aspects of holding assemblies have been ignored in it.

Now, Torabi says that one of parliament’s side streets is proposed as the place for holding future rallies.

Based on the new motion, depending on the size of a gathering, members and leaders of parliament will be obligated to show up and answer protesters concerns.

This seems to show that the main concern behind the new legislative initiative is to try to create an opportunity for the public to vent its grievances and to show more responsiveness; at least by the parliament.

However, Article 27 of the Islamic Republic explicitly insists on freedom of assembly anywhere and anytime, provided being unarmed and not detrimental to the fundamental principles of Islam.

Nevertheless, the Islamic Republic authorities, evoking complicated regulations, have so far rejected all non-governmental bodies’ requests for holding a rally.

Based on Ministry of Interior’s regulations, whoever wants to hold an assembly should present the list of persons responsible for its security and disciplinary aspects, as well as the exact time of holding it, long before the date of the gathering.

Furthermore, apparently, the new motion is silent about holding peaceful assemblies outside the capital, while majlis is expected to present comprehensive motions for the whole country.

Whether parliament’s initiative will receive support from hardliners and security forces is a big question. Given the Islamic Republic’s track record, some expect that a designated venue for assemblies will turn out to be just another spot for holding organized, pro-regime gatherings.

The new motion will be presented to parliament in a few weeks, after debates on President Hassan Rouhani’s budget bill, according to Abol-Fazl Torabi, quoted in parliament’s news website.

Article 27 of the Islamic Republic’s Constitution stipulates that citizens have the right to hold assemblies, “provided arms are not carried” and the assemblies “are not detrimental to the fundamental principles of Islam”.

But in practice, it is almost impossible to obtain permits for protest gatherings or rallies; a fact many officials have admitted, including former interior minister Mahmoud Mirholi.

Torabi, a member of parliament’s Councils Commission, said the motion “formulates the ways of holding assemblies” as well as their “security related aspects”.

Immediately after the recent widespread uprising against the Islamic Republic’s establishment that surprised and shocked the leaders of the ruling system, Tehran City Council, controlled by the reformist camp, hurriedly ratified a double-urgency motion for allocating a particular location for holding rallies and assemblies.

Six days later, Saturday, January 13, the Interior Ministry’s spokesman, Salman Samani described Tehran City Council’s motion as “merely a proposal” that political and security aspects of holding assemblies have been ignored in it.

Now, Torabi says that one of parliament’s side streets is proposed as the place for holding future rallies.

Based on the new motion, depending on the size of a gathering, members and leaders of parliament will be obligated to show up and answer protesters concerns.

This seems to show that the main concern behind the new legislative initiative is to try to create an opportunity for the public to vent its grievances and to show more responsiveness; at least by the parliament.

However, Article 27 of the Islamic Republic explicitly insists on freedom of assembly anywhere and anytime, provided being unarmed and not detrimental to the fundamental principles of Islam.

Nevertheless, the Islamic Republic authorities, evoking complicated regulations, have so far rejected all non-governmental bodies’ requests for holding a rally.

Based on Ministry of Interior’s regulations, whoever wants to hold an assembly should present the list of persons responsible for its security and disciplinary aspects, as well as the exact time of holding it, long before the date of the gathering.

Furthermore, apparently, the new motion is silent about holding peaceful assemblies outside the capital, while majlis is expected to present comprehensive motions for the whole country.

Whether parliament’s initiative will receive support from hardliners and security forces is a big question. Given the Islamic Republic’s track record, some expect that a designated venue for assemblies will turn out to be just another spot for holding organized, pro-regime gatherings.

 

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