Good news is coming from the City Administration! We talked about this topic with the mayor in January. The decision by which the City allowed gatherings ONLY on Krajina Square and Mladen Stojanovic Park was adopted back in 2011 and has not changed since then. We from the Justice Movement planned to ask through a petition at the City level to enable gatherings / protests in other locations (eg in front of courts, RTRS, police stations, etc.). All in all, the Law on Public Gathering MUST be changed, because it is not harmonized with European and international standards, but it is already a matter of the republic level. The decision of the City Administration is a positive step that can be made by the local level. It remains to be seen whether the City Assembly will adopt this decision. – stated Ozren Perduv.
The Mayor of Banja Luka sent a letter to the City Assembly on determining the space for holding public gatherings, which would enable freedom of public gathering in other public areas in the city, and not only in Krajina Square and Mladen Stojanovic Park, which is now the case.
The current decision on determining the space for holding public gatherings stipulates that for holding public gatherings in the city area, the Krajina Square and Mladen Stojanović are determined, and in settlements where there is no public space – in other suitable areas, with the consent of the competent department landowner.
According to the new decision, which the councilors should consider at the next Assembly session, for the holding of public gatherings, in addition to the previous spaces, other public areas are determined that are suitable for organizing those gatherings in terms of the Law on Public Gatherings.
The intention is to harmonize this Decision with the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which, among other things, stipulates that everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, and that no restrictions may be imposed on the exercise of this right. prescribed by law and necessary in a democratic society in the interest of national and public security.
A proposal for improving transparency, accountability and integrity in the part related to the harmonization of bylaws with international standards in the field of freedom of gathering, was proposed to the City by several citizens’ associations.
City of Banja Luka