How to Get The Right To Protest or Demonstrate in Kenya: As a Kenyan, you have the right to assemble peacefully with others so you can express your will and feelings. Such an assembly can be convened anywhere except in areas that are classified as protected areas. Article 37 of the constitution holds that demonstrations are a fundamental right. Everyone has the right to peaceably and unarmed, assemble to demonstrate and present their petitions to public institutions. Here are some guidelines of exercising your right to protest.
The Process of Holding a Public Procession
The first step in holding a meeting to protest is notify the regulating officer or police three days in advance. This notice will give the police time to plan and make arrangements for the protection of your right to demonstrate as provided in Sec 6, Subsection 2 of the Public Order Act. The police should provide security to demonstrators.
The notice should be presented in a form and shall indicate the full names of the organizer and their physical address. It should also indicate the date of the meeting and the time which should be between 6 am in the morning and 6pm in the afternoon. The notice should also indicate the site of the meeting and the route to be used in case there will be a public procession.
If after receiving the notice, the regulating officer finds that it is not possible for the meeting or procession to be held since they have received another notice of another public meeting on the same date, time, and venue, the regulating officer will inform the organizer.
The organizer of a procession or his agent should be present throughout the procession and shall help the police to maintain peace and order during the procession.
Limitations of The Right to Protest
The police or interior ministry has no power to restrict a demonstration. For them to restrict a public procession, they have to lodge their complaint in court. According to the Constitution, Article 24(3), the judiciary is the only authority that can issue an order to restrict the right to protest. The right to protest can only be restricted on the basis of equality, freedom, and human dignity.
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