Spokesperson: Beijing authorities receive 77 demonstration applications since Aug. 1
www.chinaview.cn 2008-08-18 14:06:51   Print

    BEIJING, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- Beijing authorities have received 77 applications for demonstrations since Aug. 1, a spokesperson with the municipal public security bureau said here on Monday.

    These applications involved 149 people, including three persons from overseas.

    Most of the applicants applied to protest in public for issues like labor disputes, medical disputes or inadequate welfares, the spokesperson said.

    Seventy-four applications have been withdrawn so far, because the problems those applicants contended for were properly addressed by relevant authorities or departments through consultations, added the spokesperson.

    Two other applications have been suspended because their procedures were incomplete, the spokesperson said. In one of such cases, for example, the applicant applied to take children to the demonstration, which is against China's law.

    According to China's law on demonstrations and protests, children are not eligible to take part in any demonstrations because they do not have independent will, nor can they be liable for their behaviors.

    "The applicants (whose applications have been suspended) have been told to provide information of the eligible participants, and provide the adequate papers as required," the spokesperson said. "It doesn't mean their applications have been rejected."

    The Chinese law requires demonstrators submit their requests at least five days in advance and detail the intention and topic of the protest, as well as the basic information of the participants.

    The one remaining application has been vetoed by the public security authority, as it is in violation of China's law on demonstrations and protests, the spokesperson said without elaboration.

    The public security bureau also received 22 inquiries on the application procedures -- 13 from domestic residents and nine from overseas personnel.

    China announced last month it would set up zones in three Beijing parks where demonstrators could legally stage protests during the Olympic Games. They are Zizhuyuan Park in the city's northwest, Ritan Park in the east and World Park in the southwest.

    "The move to set aside protest areas is in line with Beijing's promises to the International Olympic Committee to adhere to the Olympic traditions, such as free expression outside the sporting venues. It offers a new channel for the protestors to better express their opinions by attracting the eyes of tourists, reporters and officials during the Games," said Mo Yuchuan, director of the Research Center for Constitutional and Administrative Law of the Beijing-based Renmin University of China.

    "The measure is also expected to help reduce the risk that unexpected demonstrations of large scale would harm the public interests," he said.

Editor: Xinhuanet
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