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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Open Society Foundations by Sandra Coliver.]

Do you need permission to protest? International law says no, but most democracies around the world have laws on their books that require protest organizers to notify the proper authorities of planned protests. Many of those laws allow the authorities to impose criminal penalties—fines and imprisonment—for failure to notify even when the protest is peaceful and does not block traffic.

Criminal penalties have increasingly been used to repress protests, in a trend that has gained traction since the mass protests of the Arab Spring of 2010.

Against this background, a ruling from South Africa’s Constitutional Court, delivered on November 19 in the case Mhlunguana and Others v. the State and the Minister of Police, represents a significant step forward in protecting the right to freedom of assembly, not only in South Africa, but around the world—especially because the court references international law to support its conclusions.

Continue reading here.

South Africa at a Glance
57 700 000 (mid 2018 estimate)
5.1% y/y in October 2018 (CPI) & +6.9 y/y in October 2018 (PPI)
2.2% q/q (3rd quarter of 2018)
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