Importance Of Freedom Of Assembly

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FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY AND ASSOCIATION State party to the ICCPR, the DPRK is obliged to respect the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, association, including the right to form and join a trade union. The North Korean Constitution stipulates in its article 67 that citizens have the freedom of “[…] assembly, demonstration, and association. The state shall guarantee conditions for the free activities of democratic political parties and social organisations.” Regarding the right to assembly, the national report to the UPR mentions that “Citizens have freedoms of assembly and demonstration under the Constitution. The organisers of the assemblies or demonstrations are required to send notification to the local people’s committees and people’s security organs three days in advance, in which the purpose, date, time, venue, organiser and scope of the event are to be specified.” In practice, though, citizens are not free but forced to assemble, be it for worshipping the great leaders and Juche, for performing in mass games or on any other official occasions. However, they are not allowed to assemble outside of the official frame, and unlawful assembly can result in a punishment of five years of correctional labour. Despite the severity of this penalty, the emergence of a market economy mostly at the border with China has seen a new sort of assemblies and networks, in which citizens perform trades and other businesses, totally independently from the regime. With regard to the
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