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Amnesty International wins case against Slovak police

THE SLOVAK Supreme Court announced that the Slovak police did not act in line with the law when, in June 2004, it prevented 30 Amnesty International demonstrators from protesting in front of the Belarus embassy in Bratislava, the daily SME reported.

Amnesty International wanted to protest about the imprisonment of a Belarussian scientist who studied the after-effects of the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

Though Amnesty International announced the demonstration in line with regulations, the Office to Protect Constitutional Officials prevented the demonstrators from entering Kuzmányi street where the embassy is located.

"The police cannot prevent anyone from practising his or her right to gather because no law empowers the police to do so," said lawyer Tomáš Kamenec, who represented Amnesty International.

He added that only the municipality is allowed to ban such gatherings. The police can intervene only if public order is disturbed or other illegal acts are linked to the event.

Ján Packa, head of the Office to Protect Constitutional Officials, said he thinks he acted in line with the law.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
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