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Poland: Changes to freedom of assembly laws spark “serious” human rights concern

Today, European human rights officials have expressed serious concern over legal amendments passed in the Polish Sejm.

Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Michael Georg Link, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) fear the changes could undermine the right to freedom of assembly if they become law.

“These amendments should not be adopted as such, as they would restrict unnecessarily and in a disproportionate way the possibility for a large part of the population to enjoy their human right to freedom of assembly, in disregard of Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights” Muižnieks said.

Urging the Polish parliament to reconsider amendments to the law governing public assemblies, Muižnieks and Link called on the Polish authorities to allow more time for consultation with civil society and other groups that will be affected by the changes.

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