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Statement by Ludmila Alekseeva, Chair of Moscow Helsinki Group

Source: (info), 24/02/12

· Right of assembly  · Human rights defenders  · Moscow city & Moscow region

Ludmila Alekseeva: “I condemn the provocative attempts to interfere with the holding of peaceful demonstrations planned for after the presidential elections. This is how I assess the scandalous incident that took place at Moscow City Hall on the morning of 20 February: pro-Kremlin youth movements began a fight with representatives of the opposition, and succeeded in getting their applications submitted before the opposition. And their applications were for rallies on the same day and at the same places as the opposition were requesting.

Unfortunately, according to eyewitnesses, the pro-Kremlin youth movements were helped in this by the police.

It must be borne in mind that in accordance with Article 31 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, Russian citizens have the right to gather together peacefully, without weapons, and to hold assemblies, rallies and demonstrations, marches and pickets. It is precisely the observance of this and other human rights and freedoms that will guarantee the situation in Russia does not develop according to a scenario that no reasonable-minded person would want to see. I call on the Moscow city authorities to take careful consideration and reach agreements with representatives of the opposition to permit the public events they propose holding after the presidential elections." 

Ludmila Alekseeva,
Chair Moscow Helsinki Group