German Court rules citizens have right to protest amid pandemic

A German protest. Photo by Folco Masi on Unsplash.

Germany’s┬áConstitutional Court has ruled that people in the country┬áhave the right to hold political protests amid Coronavirus pandemic if they adhere to physical distancing rules, Reuters reported.

According to the report, activists who had petitioned the court after authorities banned a protest planned for this week to denounce rules that bar public gatherings of more than two people.

The activists, Pro-democracy activists in Giessen, in the state of Hesse, took their case to the Constitutional Court after two lower courts sided with the local authorities and maintained the ban on demonstrations even though organizers had pledged to respect distancing rules during the march.

The activists argued that the lockdown measures breach freedom of assembly, a key tenet of the German constitution, according to Reuters.

A general ban on protests would be unconstitutional, the Constitutional Court said who also ordered them to review their decision. It stopped short of allowing the demonstration to go ahead.

The Constitutional Court directed the city of Giessen as well as the two lower courts to use its ruling to make a new decision on whether to allow the demonstrations to go ahead under certain conditions or to ban them.

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