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Georgia: New Rules for Street Rallies

(Aug. 26, 2009) On July 11, 2009, the Parliament of the Republic of Georgia adopted amendments to the nation's Law on Mass Gatherings and Demonstrations, placing restrictions on the conduct of street protests. According to the amendments, protests cannot be held within 20 yards of the entrances of listed government office buildings. Also, protesters are not allowed to disrupt street traffic using vehicles or other means. Under the Law, streets cannot be occupied by the demonstrators unless their number is so large that they cannot be accommodated on sidewalks.

Related amendments were made to the Police Act and to the Administrative Violations Code. According to their provisions, the procedure for police use of non-lethal weapons for dispersing crowds has been simplified and the term of detention for violation of the Law on Mass Gatherings and Demonstrations has been extended from 30 to 90 days. (Georgian Parliament Restricts the Demonstrations Act [in Russian], GAZETA.RU , July 11, 2009, available at