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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

SAHRC expresses concerns about violent protest action

Attention: Editors and Reporters

Friday, 26 May 2017

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) expresses its concern about violent protests around the country.
The SAHRC recognises the significance of the right of people to assemble, demonstrate, picket and petition in an effort to advance their views in our country. The right to assemble, demonstrate, picket and petition is recognised in terms of Section 17 of the South African Constitution. However, the right must be exercised in accordance with the law and as such should not be exercised in a manner that results in the destruction of public or private property. This right should be carried out with due regard to the rights of other people. While protestors are free to advance their interests through assembly, demonstration, picketing and petitioning, the resorting by some to the destruction of property and burning of schools, and preventing access to schools undermines the right to education.

The SAHRC encourages the government and all other relevant authorities to continue with efforts to try and engage with the protestors.
The SAHRC calls on protestors to act in accordance with the law. The South African Police Service is urged to act within the bounds of public order policing to protect life and property but to ensure that in doing so the right to protest is not unjustifiably limited.

Issued by the SA Human Rights Commission
Gushwell Brooks – Communications Co-ordinator Tel: 082 645 8573 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The South African Human Rights Commission.

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About us

The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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