By Ine Van Severen, Civic Space Researcher at CIVICUS
Over the past year, protests have been recorded in more than 30 countries across the continent, finds a new global report by the Civicus Monitor. Despite the right to peaceful assembly being protected by many national constitutions and international law, such as the 75-year-old Universal Declaration on Human Rights, protesters face a range of unlawful risks and restrictions.
In numerous countries, restrictive laws or emergency regulations have been deployed to make it difficult for people to protest, including the need for permits and levying fees. Authorities have also used outright bans to prevent protests from taking place, often using grounds such as disturbing the public order, security concerns or public health reasons.
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