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Rights & COVID-19: Protest

As a protest formed outside of the Knesset during the HCJ hearings, police stopped protesters without explanation. We wrote a letter to the head of police immediately to allow the protest to take place. Emergency regulations published after this incident permitted protests and demonstrations as an exception to the emergency restrictions of being a certain distance from one’s home (19-03-2020).

ACRI successfully used this precedent to:

  • appeal to the Eilat Police Department to allow a demonstration of animal rights activists (2-4-2020);

  • appeal to the Attorney General about the police not having the authority to impose fines on protesters (2-4-2020);

  • to the Deputy AG against invalid restrictions on the freedom of protest in the Public Health Order (13-4-2020);

  • and to the Department of Justice about restrictions to demonstrate in Shiekh Jarah and the cancellation of all tickets given by police to demonstrators (19-4-2020).

  • to the legal advisor for the Haifa police district about allowing a protest of more than 50 people that had been previously restricted, and received a response that there is no impediment as along as groups of up to 50 people adhere to social distancing (13-5-2020).

Due to our appeal on 11.5.2020 to the Deputy Attorney General, the Ministry of Justice amended the restrictions on demonstrations to state: "A demonstration can be held with up to 50 participants maintaining a distance of two meters from one another, and larger demonstrations with more participants can also be held, as along as the demonstrators are divided into groups of 50 people, while maintaining distance of two meters from one another, masks are required, and they must comply with police instructions." (12.5.2020)

On 23.7.2020, ACRI appealed to the Attorney General after learning that the Minister of Public Security, Amir Ohana, both encouraged residents near the Prime Minister's residence, outside of which there are daily demonstrations, to submit a petition against the police for allowing the demonstrations to take place, and that he further spoke to the head of the Jerusalem police in attempt to allegedly move the demonstrations. ACRI's appeal demanded that the Attorney General instruct the Minister not to interfere with the work of the police and the freedom of demonstration, two very serious violations of the separation of powers and democracy.


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