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Мoscow Ombudsman Calls Break Up of Opposition Rallies Unconstitutional

Source: (info), 26/04/11

· Ombudsmen  · Moscow City & Moscow Region  · Protest Campaigns

The Human Rights Ombudsman for Moscow city, Aleksandr Muzykantsky, has said that the authorities’ refusals to allow public protest rallies are, in a number of cases, without basis, RIA Novosti reported on 25 April.

“What we are seeing at work now is a prohibitive principle regarding the holding of rallies. Mostly this applies to the extra-systemic opposition,” said Muzykantsky, reporting on his work in 2010.

“Sometimes the reasons for refusal are simply ridiculous,” he added. The Ombudsman stated that he intends to compile a special report on the rights of citizens to hold public events, reports.

“This is a very dangerous game, aimed at preventing the realization of rights and freedoms prescribed in the Constitution”, RIA Novosti quotes Muzykantsky as saying.

On the 31st of each month in Moscow’s Triumphal Square a demonstration is held in defence of Article 31 of the Constitution, which guarantees citizens the right of peaceful assembly. Each time, the protests are broken up. On May 31 2010, the Federal Human rights Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin and the Human Rights Ombudsman for Moscow City, Aleksandr Muzykantsky, as well as observers from the European Parliament, attended the rally as observers. They witnessed the brutality and unjustified nature of the arrests of protestors.