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Protest application procedure clarified
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People wanting to protest during the Beijing Games must seek police permission five days ahead of their actions, according to a statement posted on the official BOCOG website over the weekend.

Authorities have announced three parks in Beijing to be designated protest venues during the Games. The statement, made by Olympic security chief Liu Shaowu, also issued detailed procedures to be followed for those who want to hold protests.

Protest organizers are required to personally submit an application and their ID information to relevant public police authorities five days prior to the events, the statement said.

The application should clarify the purpose, time, route and process of the activity, the posters and slogans to be used, the estimated number of participants and the specific use of sound facilities. Chinese citizens are to apply to the city's public security management unit under the Beijing public security bureau while foreigners are to register at the bureau's entry-exit administration unit.

Foreign applicants are also asked to provide a Chinese translation of their application documents. State agencies, private companies and NGOs have to mark the document with their official seal as well as have it signed by the head of the organization.

The relevant public security agencies will decide whether to allow the protest according to national laws and regulations, and will notify applicants in writing two days before the planned protest date.

If applicants have not received any notice two days prior to the planned protest, they can take that as approval to go ahead, the statement said.

"It must be stressed that citizens must respect and not harm others' freedom and rights, and must not harm national, social and collective interests," Liu said.

China's laws stipulate that such activities must not violate the Constitution, harm the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the State, instigate divisions among the people or endanger public security.

(China Daily August 4, 2008)

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