Anti-protest bills would 'attack right to speak out'
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: May 15th, 2017
More than 20 states have proposed bills that would crack down on protests and demonstrations since Donald Trump was elected, in a move that UN experts have branded incompatible with US obligations under international human rights law. The proposed laws would variously increase the penalties for protesting in large groups, ban protesters from wearing masks during demonstrations and, in some states, protect drivers from liability if they strike someone taking part in a protest. The ACLU and the National Lawyers Guild have said many of the bills are likely unconstitutional. The flurry of legislation has prompted UN experts to intervene, with two special rapporteurs from the UNs Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights the UN body which works to promote and protect human rights to complain to the US state department at the end of March. In a recent letter to the government, David Kaye and Maina Kiai, from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), listed specific pieces of legislation which they said were criminalizing peaceful protests. Kaye and Kiai ... said the bills represent a worrying trend that could result in a detrimental impact on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression in the country.