• ACRI

Canceling the Limitations on Protestors and Flights


Illustration
Photo by Tal Dahan, ACRI

This morning (4.10.2020), ACRI appealed to the Attorney General and the Legal Advisor of the Knesset demanding the cancelation of limitations on protests and the ban on flying out of the country for anybody who did not purchase a ticket previously to 25.9.2020. This is to follow up on our appeal from 30.9.2020, where we demanded the cancelation of the legal amendment declaring a special state of emergency and authorizing the instatement of regulations limiting protests.


In the regulations from 1.10.2020 instated by the government, it is stated that a person may participate in a protest only at a distance of 1,000 meters from their home. Neither the government nor the Constitutional Committee were presented with even one case of a confirmed patient who was infected during a protest. According to the opinion of the Director of the Ministry of Health, there is thought to be a risk of infection while not wearing a mask or keeping a distance of 2 meters between protestors, but there is no epidemiological justification to the prohibition to protest over a 1,000 meters away from one’s home. It is clear from the debates in the government that the central consideration for declaring the special state of emergency, if not the only one, was to prevent the ongoing protests nearby the home of the Prime Minister, a consideration that is extraneous and invalid. Therefore, we demanded to cancel the limitations on protesting at only a 1,000-meter distance from home.


The ban on leaving the country has no justification, as well. It is a fundamental constitutional right, officiated in a fundamental law: the respect and liberty of the individual, which the government has no authority to prohibit. On the contrary - the COVID law states that even in instances of limitations on leaving one’s home, the government must set forth arrangements to ensure the ability to leave for the airport. The Head of Public Health Services admitted that there is no epidemiological justification to prohibit flights to green countries, and explained that this is being done in order to ensure equality between those with the means to purchase flight tickets and those without them. Such an explanation - noble as it may be - does not justify limiting a fundamental constitutional right.