12
Apr

Freedom of expression and peaceful protest policy

The Conference Organizing Committee (COC) recognizes and endorses freedom of expression as an essential principle in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The combined efforts of all stakeholders in the public and private sectors and in civil society are required to halt and reverse the AIDS pandemic. Activism and advocacy contribute to advancing commitment, policy and practice aimed at ending the epidemic.

The COC encourages lively debate and dialogue between presenters and delegates at the conferences it organizes. The COC adamantly opposes the occupation, obstruction of access to or destruction of property or the use of physical force during the conference by any individual or group of individuals. The COC also opposes the disruption of conference sessions or satellite meetings that results in the infringement of the freedom of expression of invited speakers.

General Principles

  • Protest activities involving the use or threat of physical force, the occupation, obstruction of access to or destruction of property, or the infringement of the freedom of expression of invited speakers, as well as behavior contradicting the laws of the Russian Federation, is considered unacceptable behavior at the conference.
  • Security services will remove from the conference venue any person or persons using or threatening to use physical force, or occupying, obstructing access to or destroying property at the conference.
  • Conference accreditation will be withdrawn from any person or persons who are removed from the conference venue due to their using or threatening to use physical force, or to occupying, obstructing access to or destroying property.
  • Any person attending the conference is subject to the laws of the Russian Federation.
  • Association: Any person or persons not directly involved in using or threatening to use physical force or occupying, obstructing access to or destroying property at conference, but who are seen to be encouraging or prolonging a disturbance, will be treated as involved and may face withdrawal of their accreditation to the conference.
  • Wrongful Expulsion: If a person has his or her conference accreditation withdrawn and feels that he or she has been wronged in this action, the person will have 24 hours to appeal to the COC for his or her accreditation to be reinstated. Appeals will be treated on a case-by-case basis.
  • If destruction of property or physical force or threats of physical force are used by any person or persons, the COC will afterwards issue a statement condemning the action as contrary to its freedom of expression policy.

Participation in the Conference is considered agreement of any person attending the Conference with the principles stated here. The COC reserves the right to withdraw conference accreditation and remove from the conference any person not following the principles stated here.