EIT: Hollanti rikkoi oikeutta rauhanomaiseen kokoontumiseen rankaisemalla talovaltaukseen liittyvään mielenosoitukseen osallistuneita

21.11.2023 | Oikeusuutiset

Markku Fredman

Unjustified arrest and criminal conviction of applicants at Amsterdam squat protest

In today’s Chamber judgment1 in the case of Laurijsen and Others v. the Netherlands (application nos. 56896/17, 56910/17, 56914/17, 56917/17 and 57307/17) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:

  • a violation of Article 11 (freedom of assembly and association) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The case concerned a protest against the eviction of a squat at Passeerdersgracht in Amsterdam.The applicants were arrested for blockading the road in front of and near the squat and summonsed for disturbing public order and failing to comply with a police order to disperse, acts that were prohibited by the municipal by-law (Algemene Plaatselijke Verordening). The Regional Court partly acquitted and partly discharged them as it considered that the local regulation did not apply because the protest fell within the scope of the Public Assemblies Act (Wet openbare manifestaties). The Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, however, found that the protest had not been peaceful in nature because, from the outset, the aim of it had been to confront the police and to physically prevent the squat from being cleared. Those courts considered that the protest was therefore excluded from the protective scope of the Public Assemblies Act and the Convention. The applicants were each fined 100 euros in total.

The Court found that the applicants’ participation in the protest fell under the scope of protection of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly under Article 11 of the Convention. It further found that the Supreme Court had not examined whether the applicants’ role in the gathering had in fact been peaceful within the meaning of that provision and had therefore failed to convincingly establish why it had been necessary, under Article 11 § 2 of the Convention, to interfere with the applicants’ right to freedom of assembly.

Press release


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