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Laws and Regulations Posted: 2003-06-03 14:26:45

Law of the People's Republic of China on Assemblies, Processionsand Demonstrations

     Important Notice: This English document is coming from "LAWS AND REGULATIONS OF THEPEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA GOVERNING FOREIGN-RELATED MATTERS" (1991.7)which is compiled by the Brueau of Legislative Affairs of the StateCouncil of the People's Republic of China, and is published by the ChinaLegal System Publishing House.In case of discrepancy, the original version in Chinese shall prevail.

Whole DocumentLAW OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA ON ASSEMBLIES, PROCESSIONSAND DEMONSTRATIONS(Adopted at the Tenth Meeting of the Standing Committee of theSeventh National People's Congress on October 31, 1989, promulgated byOrder No. 20 of the President of the People's Republic of China on October31, 1989 and effective as of the same date)

ContentsChapter I General ProvisionsChapter II Application and Permission for Assemblies, Processions and

DemonstrationsChapter III The Holding of Assemblies, Processions and DemonstrationsChapter IV Legal ResponsibilityChapter V Supplementary Provisions

Chapter I General ProvisionsArticle 1Pursuant to the Constitution, this Law is enacted to safeguard citizens'exercise of their right to assembly, procession and demonstrationaccording to law and to maintain social stability and public order.Article 2This Law shall apply to assemblies, processions and demonstrations heldwithin the territory of the People's Republic of China.The term "assembly" used in this Law means an activity in which peoplegather at a public place in the open air to express views or aspirations.The term "procession" used in this Law means an activity in which peopleline up for a march along a public road or across a public place in theopen air to express their common aspirations.The term "demonstration" used in this Law means an activity in whichpeople express their common aspirations, including demands, protests,support or moral support, in the manner of an assembly, a procession, asit-in, etc., at a public place in the open air or along a public road.This Law shall not apply to recreational or sports activities, normalreligious activities or traditional folk events.Article 3The citizens' exercise of their right to assembly, procession anddemonstration shall be safeguarded by the people's governments at alllevels in accordance with the provisions of this Law.Article 4In exercising their right to assembly, procession and demonstration,citizens must abide by the Constitution and the laws, shall not oppose thecardinal principles specified in the Constitution and shall not impairstate, public or collective interests or the lawful freedoms and rights ofother citizens.Article 5An assembly, a procession or a demonstration shall be held in a peacefulmanner; no weapons, controlled cutting tools or explosives shall becarried, and no violence employed.Article 6The competent authorities governing assemblies, processions anddemonstrations shall be the municipal public security bureau, countysecurity bureau or municipal public security sub-bureau in the localitieswhere the assemblies, processions and demonstrations are held; if theroute of a procession or demonstration cuts through two or more districtsor counties, the competent authorities thereof shall be the publicsecurity organ at the next higher level to the public security organs insuch districts or counties.

Chapter II Application and Permission for Assemblies, Processions and DemonstrationsArticle 7For the holding of an assembly, a procession or a demonstration,application must be made to and permission obtained from the competentauthorities in accordance with the provisions of this Law.It shall not be necessary to apply for the following activities:(1) celebrations or commemorative activities held by the state or by statedecisions; and(2) assemblies held by state organs, political parties, publicorganizations, enterprises or institutions in accordance with law or therelevant articles of association.Article 8There must be a person or persons responsible for the holding of anassembly, a procession or a demonstration.For the holding of an assembly, a procession or a demonstration for whichan application has to be made under this Law, the responsible person(s)must submit an application in writing to the competent authorities fivedays prior to the date of the activity. The application shall specify thepurposes of the assembly, procession or demonstration, how it is going tobe conducted, the posters and slogans to be used, the number ofparticipants, the number of vehicles, the specifications and quantities ofthe sound facilities to be used, the starting and finishing time, theplaces (including places where the participants assemble and disperse),the route, and the name(s), occupation(s) and address(es) of the person(s)responsible for the assembly, procession or demonstration.Article 9After receiving an application for an assembly, a procession or ademonstration, the competent authorities shall inform the responsibleperson(s) in writing of their decision to grant or not to grant permissiontwo days prior to the date of the activity applied for. If no permissionis granted, the reasons thereof shall be given. Failure to serve noticewithin the time limit shall be construed as the granting of permission.If an assembly, a procession or a demonstration is truly necessitated byunexpected occurrences, a report must be made immediately to the competentauthorities: upon receiving the report, the competent authorities shallimmediately examine it and decide to grant or not to grant permission.Article 10If an application is made for an assembly, a procession or a demonstrationwhich will press for the settlement of specific issues, the competentauthorities may, after receiving the application, inform the departmentsor units concerned to resolve such issues through consultation with theperson(s) responsible for the assembly, procession or demonstration, andmay also postpone for five days the starting date specified in theapplication.Article 11If the competent authorities are of the opinion that the holding of anassembly, a procession or a demonstration at the time or place or alongthe route specified in the application will seriously affect traffic andpublic order, they may, upon or after granting permission, change thetime, place or route and inform the responsible person(s) of the change ingood time.Article 12No permission shall be granted for an application for an assembly, aprocession or a demonstration which involves one of the followingcircumstances:(1) opposition to the cardinal principles specified in the Constitution;(2) harming the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state;(3) instigation of division among the nationalities; or(4) the belief, based on sufficient evidence, that the holding of theassembly, procession or demonstration that is being applied for willdirectly endanger public security or seriously undermine public order.Article 13If the person(s) responsible for an assembly, a procession or ademonstration does not accept the competent authorities' decision not togrant permission, he may apply to the people's government at the samelevel for reconsideration within three days of receiving the notice on thedecision, and the people's government shall make a decision within threedays of receiving the application for reconsideration.Article 14The person(s) responsible for an assembly, a procession or a demonstrationmay withdraw his application after submitting it and before receiving anotice of the competent authorities; if a decision is made to call off theassembly, procession or demonstration after receipt of the competentauthorities' notice on the granting of permission, the responsibleperson(s) concerned shall inform the competent authorities of the decisionin good time and dismiss the participants if they have assembled.Article 15No citizens shall, in a city other than his place of residence, start,organize or participate in an assembly, a procession or a demonstration oflocal citizens.Article 16No functionary of a state organ shall organize or participate in anassembly, a procession or a demonstration which contravenes the functionsand obligations of functionaries of state organs as prescribed in relevantlaws and regulations.Article 17If anyone organizes or participates in an assembly, a procession or ademonstration in the name of a state organ, a public organization, anenterprise or an institution, he must first obtain approval from itsleaders.

Chapter III The Holding of Assemblies, Processions and Demonstra- tionsArticle 18With respect to an assembly, a procession or a demonstration held incompliance with law, the competent authorities shall dispatch the people'spolice to keep traffic and public order and ensure the smooth progress ofthe assembly, procession or demonstration.Article 19An assembly, a procession or a demonstration held in compliance with lawshall not be disturbed, broken into or disrupted by anybody by violence,coercion or any other illegal means.Article 20In order to ensure the progress of a procession held in compliance withlaw, the people's police responsible for keeping traffic order maytemporarily exercise flexibility in their execution of the relevantprovisions of traffic regulations.Article 21If it becomes impossible for a procession to follow the permitted routebecause of unexpected circumstances occurring on the way, the chief policeofficer present at the scene shall have the authority to change the routeof the procession.Article 22If an assembly, a procession or a demonstration is held in or passes byplaces where state organs, military organs, radio stations, televisionstations or foreign embassies or consulates are located, the competentauthorities may, with a view to keeping order, establish temporarysecurity lines, which shall not be crossed without permission by thepeople's police.Article 23No assembly, procession or demonstration shall be held within a peripheraldistance of 10-300 metres from the following places, with the exception ofthose approved by the State Council or the people's governments ofprovinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under theCentral Government:(1) premises of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress,the State Council, the Central Military Commission, the Supreme People'sCourt and the Supreme People's Procuratorate;(2) places where state guests are staying;(3) important military installations; and(4) air harbours, railway stations and ports.The specific peripheral distances from the places listed in the precedingparagraph shall be defined by the people's governments of provinces,autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the CentralGovernment.Article 24The time for holding an assembly, a procession or a demonstration shall belimited to 6 a.m. - 10 p.m., with the exception of those held by decisionor approval of the local people's governments.Article 25An assembly, a procession or a demonstration shall be conducted inaccordance with the purposes, manners, posters, slogans, starting andfinishing time, places, routes and other matters for which permission hasbeen granted.The person(s) responsible for an assembly, a procession or a demonstrationmust assume responsibility for maintaining the order thereof and strictlyguard against participation by others.The person(s) responsible for an assembly, a procession or a demonstrationshall, when necessary, appoint special personnel to assist the people'spolice in maintaining order. The personnel responsible for themaintenance of order shall wear identification marks.Article 26The holding of an assembly, a procession or a demonstration shall notcontravene the regulations on public security administration and shall notinvolve criminal activities or the instigation of crimes.Article 27The people's police shall stop an assembly, a procession or ademonstration that is being held, if it involves one of the followingcircumstances:(1) failure to make an application in accordance with the provisions ofthis Law or to obtain permission for the application;(2) failure to act in accordance with the purposes, manners, posters,slogans, starting and finishing time, places and routes permitted by thecompetent authorities; or (3) the emergence, in the course of theactivity, of a situation which endangers public security or seriouslyundermines public order.If any of the circumstances specified in the preceding paragraph occursand the instruction to stop the activity is ignored, the chief officer ofthe people's police present at the scene shall have the authority to ordera dismission; for those who refuse to dismiss, the chief police officerpresent at the scene shall have the authority to decide, in accordancewith relevant state provisions, on the adoption of necessary measures toforce a dismission and to take away from the scene by force those whorefuse to obey or detain them at once.If a participant in an assembly, a procession or a demonstration crossesthe temporary security lines established in accordance with the provisionsof Article 22 of this Law, enters a certain peripheral space around thespecific places where no assemblies, processions and demonstrations shallbe held as specified in Article 23 of this Law, or commits other illegalor criminal acts, the people's police may take him away from the scene byforce or detain him at once.

Chapter IV Legal ResponsibilityArticle 28Those who commit acts in violation of public security administration inthe process of an assembly, a procession or a demonstration shall bepunished in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Regulations onAdministrative Penalties for Public Security. The public security organmay punish by warning or by criminal detention of not more than 15 daysthe responsible person(s) and the person(s) who is directly responsible,if an assembly, a procession or a demonstration that is being heldinvolves one of the following circumstances:(1) failure to make an application in accordance with the provisions ofthis Law or to obtain permission for the application; or(2) failure to act in accordance with the purposes, manners, posters,slogans, starting and finishing time, places, and routes permitted by thecompetent authorities, and disregard of instructions to stop actingwithout permission.Article 29Any participant in an assembly, a procession or a demonstration whocommits a crime shall be investigated for criminal responsibility inaccordance with the relevant provisions of the Criminal Law.Any participant in an assembly, a procession or a demonstration whocarries weapons, controlled cutting tools or explosives shall beinvestigated for criminal responsibility by applying mutatis mutandis theprovisions of Article 163 of the Criminal Law. In a case where noapplication has been made for an assembly, a procession or a demonstrationin accordance with the provisions of this Law or no permission has beengranted for the application or where it is conducted not in accordancewith the starting and finishing time, places and routes permitted by thecompetent authorities, while the order of dismission is disobeyed andpublic order seriously undermined, the person(s) responsible for theassembly, procession or demonstration and the person(s) who is directlyresponsible shall be investigated for criminal responsibility inaccordance with the provisions of Article 158 of the Criminal Law.In a case where an assembly, a procession or a demonstration leads to thesiege of a state organ or people breaking into it, preventing it fromconducting its business or state activities normally, the person(s)responsible for the assembly, procession or demonstration and theperson(s) who is directly responsible shall be investigated for criminalresponsibility in accordance with the provisions of Article 158 of theCriminal Law.In a case where an assembly, a procession or a demonstration leads to theoccupation of public places, the interception of vehicles or pedestriansor the gathering of crowds to block traffic, so that order at publicplaces and traffic order are seriously undermined, the person(s)responsible for the assembly, procession or demonstration and theperson(s) who is directly responsible shall be investigated for criminalresponsibility in accordance with the provisions of Article 159 of theCriminal Law.Article 30Those who disturb, break into or undermine by other means an assembly, aprocession or a demonstration held in compliance with law may be punishedby the public security organ by warning or by criminal detention of notmore than 15 days; if the circumstances are serious and a crime isconstituted, they shall be investigated for criminal responsibility inaccordance with the relevant provisions of the Criminal Law.Article 31If a party refuses to accept the decision on punishment by detention madein accordance with the provisions of the second paragraph of Article 28 orArticle 30 of this Law, he may appeal to the public security organ at thenext higher level within five days of receiving the notice on the decisionon punishment; the public security organ at the next higher level shallmake a decision within five days of receiving the appeal; if the partyrefuses to accept the decision of the public security organ at the nexthigher level, he may institute proceedings in the people's court withinfive days of receiving the notice on the decision.Article 32Anyone who, in the course of an assembly, a procession or a demonstration,damages public or private property or causes injuries or deaths to othersshall be liable for compensation according to law, apart from beingpunished in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Criminal Law orthe Regulations on Administrative Penalties for Public Security.Article 33If a citizen, in a city other than his place of residence, starts ororganizes an assembly, a procession or a demonstration by local citizens,the public security organ shall have the authority to detain him or sendhim back by force to his place of residence.

Chapter V Supplementary ProvisionsArticle 34This Law shall apply to assemblies, processions and demonstrations held byforeigners within the territory of China.Foreigners in the territory of China may not, without approval by thecompetent authorities, participate in an assembly, a procession or ademonstration held by Chinese citizens.Article 35The public security department under the State Council may, in accordancewith this Law, formulate rules of implementation, which shall go intoeffect after being submitted to and approved by the State Council.The standing committees of the people's congresses of provinces,autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the CentralGovernment may, in accordance with this Law, formulate measures forimplementation.Article 36This Law shall enter into force on the date of promulgation.