Law on Gatherings, Meetings and Manifestations (1990 as amended 1998)

LAW ON GATHERINGS, MEETINGS AND MANIFESTATIONS

Prom. SG. 10/2 Feb 1990, amend. SG. 11/29 Jan 1998

Art. 1. This Law regulates the procedure and guarantees regarding the organization and holding of gatherings, meetings and manifestations.

Art. 2. Gatherings, meetings and manifestations can be organized and held by citizens, associations, political and other social organizations.

Art. 3. At the gatherings, meetings and manifestations the citizens express their opinions, attitudes and positions regarding matters of political, economic, social, cultural and other nature through words, posters, models or in some other appropriate way.

Art. 4. The citizens cannot be prosecuted or punished for organizing and taking part in gatherings, meetings and manifestations, or for the opinions, attitudes and positions they express, unless this constitutes a crime or another breach of law.

Art. 5. Gatherings, meetings and manifestations can be held at any time of day and night with the exception of the time from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m.

Art. 6. (1) The following citizens are not entitled to take part in gatherings, meetings and manifestations:

    1. who are armed or carry other specially designed or adapted objects that might be used either against the life and health of people or for causing damages to property;

    2. who are evidently drunk;

    3. who are disguised and it is hard to recognize them.

(2) Each organizer or participant bears responsibility for the damages caused through his/her fault in the course of the gathering, meeting or manifestation.

Art. 7. (1) The gathering or meeting might be held indoors or outdoors.

(2) No gatherings, meetings or manifestations are allowed to be held within the marked zone around the National Assembly or in close proximity to military sites.

Art. 8. (1) It is not later than 48 hours prior to the start of an outdoor gathering or meeting that its organizers have to notify in writing the municipal people's council of the municipality on the territory of which the gathering or meeting will take place, specifying the organizer, objective, place and time of the gathering or meeting.

(2) In urgent cases the notification under the preceding paragraph regarding the gathering or meeting can be made within a term of one day.

Art. 9. (1) The organizers of the gathering or meeting adopt measures for ensuring that the public peace will be kept in the course of the gathering or meeting.

(2) The President of the Executive Board of the Municipal People's Council, or the mayor, respectively, renders assistance aimed at achieving the normal course of the gathering or meeting, and, upon the request of the organizers, he/she also renders support in finding appropriate premises.

Art. 10. (1) The gathering or meeting is headed by a Chairperson.

(2) The participants in the gathering or meeting are obligated to follow the instructions regarding the keeping of the public peace, these instructions being given by the Chairperson.

(3) People who obstruct the holding of the gathering or meeting through their conduct, or break the public peace, and the persons specified in Art. 6, paragraph 1 are removed from the gathering or meeting.

Art. 11. (1) The organizers of a manifestation notify in writing the municipal people's council regarding the objective, time and route of the manifestation not later than five days prior to the day it will be held, and in urgent cases - not later than two days prior to the day it will be held.

(2) The President of the Executive Board of the Municipal People's Council, or the mayor, respectively, and the organizers adopt all measures required for keeping the public peace in the course of the manifestation and for ensuring the road traffic safety.

Art. 12. (1) In those cases where the time and place of the gathering or meeting, or the route of the manifestation give rise to prerequisites for breach of public peace or road traffic safety, the President of the Executive Board of the Municipal People's Council, or the mayor, respectively, proposes a change therein.

(2) The President of the Executive Board of the Municipal People's Council, or the mayor, respectively, is entitled to prohibit the holding of a gathering, a meeting or a manifestation in those cases where there exist unquestionable data evidencing that:

    1. they are aimed at a forcible transformation of the constitutionally established public and state system or are directed against the territorial integrity of the country;

    2. they endanger the public peace in the respective population centre;

    3. they endanger the public health in an epidemic situation announced beforehand;

    4. they infringe the rights and freedoms of other citizens.

(3) The prohibition is imposed by way of a written act, stating the motives, within 24 hours following the notification.

(4) The organizer of the gathering, meeting or manifestation is entitled to file an appeal against the prohibition under the preceding paragraph with the Executive Board of the Municipal People's Council, and the latter renders its decision within a term of 24 hours.

(5) In those cases where the body under the preceding paragraph fails to render its decision within the specified term, the gathering, meeting or manifestation can be held.

(6) In those cases where the appeal is disallowed, the dispute is submitted to the respective regional court, and the latter renders its decision within a term of five days. The decision of the court is a final one.

Art. 13. (1) The President of the Executive Board of the Municipal People's Council, or the mayor, respectively, dissolves the gathering, meeting or the manifestation in those cases where they have not been organized or held in accordance with the procedure set forth in this Law.

(2) Upon the dissolution of the gathering, meeting or manifestation the participants therein are obligated to disperse immediately.

Art. 14. (1) (Am. - SG, No. 11/year 1998) Those citizens and officials who break the public peace and infringe upon the guarantees regarding the organization and holding of gatherings, meetings and manifestations, are imposed a fine of 50 to 300 lv., unless they are subject to a more severe punishment.

(2) The breach is ascertained through an act of the respective body of the municipal people's council.

(3) The penalty warrants are issued by the President of the Executive Board of the Municipal Council or by the President of the District People's Council, respectively, and can be appealed against in accordance with the procedure set forth in the Law on Administrative Violations and Penalties.

Transitional and concluding provisions

§ 1. This Law does not apply to wedding, family and comrades' celebrations, cultural and sports events, funeral rites, religious ceremonies and the like, the meetings held by place of work and the meetings provided for in a statutory instrument.

§ 2. A new Section VIII is created in Chapter Three of the Special Part of the Penal Code:

"Section VIII. Crimes against the Freedom of Gatherings, Meetings and Manifestations

Art. 174а. (1) He who through violence, fraud, threat or in any other unlawful way dissolves or prevents a gathering, meeting or manifestation from being held, the latter being admissible under the Law on Gatherings, Meetings and Manifestations, is punishable by imprisonment for a term of up to two years.

(2) An organizer who, in breach of Art. 12, paragraph 3, and Art. 13, paragraph 1 of the Law on Gatherings, Meetings and Manifestations holds a prohibited gathering, meeting or manifestation, is punishable by imprisonment for a term of up to one year."

§ 3. The execution of this Law is assigned to the people's councils.