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Recommendations clarify rights to protest

12 December 2000

Select Committee recommendations clarify rights to protest

Green Party MP Nandor Tanczos believes recommendations from a parliamentary inquiry into the police's handling of protests during the state visit of the Chinese President last year will help to clarify the rights of protesters in New Zealand.

The Justice and Electoral Select Committee, of which Mr Tanczos is a member, today labelled the actions of police as "unjustifiable" in their handling of demonstrations during President Jiang Zemin's visit during APEC last year.

"As a protester myself I have often faced police action that infringed my rights," said Mr Tanczos. "That the police took action in this case against a number of peaceful, non violent and lawful protests indicates that clarification is needed to inform the police of their obligations and limits and to inform protesters of their rights.

Mr Tanczos said a number of the recommendations from the Select Committee were designed to do exactly that.

"Both police and citizens must understand that there exists a fundamental right to lawful assembly and expression and these rights must be upheld by police instead of undermined," he said.

Nandor Tanczos MP: 04 470 6712, 025 246 5235 Jonathan Hill (press secretary): 04 470 6719, 021 440 090

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