Human Rights Defenders Demand the Removal of Fencing from Triumphal Square

posted 22 Nov 2010, 13:33 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 22 Nov 2010, 13:37 ]
Source: (info), 22/11/10

· Right to Assembly · Moscow Region & Moscow City · Protests and Campaigns

Moscow Helsinki Group has appealed to Moscow city authorities to remove the fencing from around Triumphal Square to enable public events to be held there. The appeal has been sent to Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin, Moscow city government and Moscow city Duma.

“The erection of fencing on Triumphal Square and the start of construction there of underground parking that had no place in the city’s development plans had only one purpose: to deprive Muscovites of the largest square in the city where it is possible to hold a large assembly of people without disrupting city transport,” the appeal states.

“Mr Mayor, on 31 December, when at six o’clock in the evening Muscovites once again go out onto Triumphal Square to demonstrate in support of Article 31 of the Constitution, there should be no fencing spoiling the look of the Square. Moscow city government and Duma must respect our rights and traditions. It is our city!” the address by Moscow Helsinki Group emphasises.

In the framework of Strategy-31, the Russian opposition traditionally holds rallies in support of the freedom of assembly guaranteed by the Constitution on Triumphal Square on 31st day of each month. Not one of these demonstrations has had the official sanction of Moscow City Hall while Yury Luzhkov headed the city government. In August it was announced that Triumphal Square, where the demonstrations take place, was to be closed for reconstruction, after which it was fenced off. City Hall claimed that underground parking would be built beneath the Square. However, at the same time the media found out that there were no officially approved plans for the reconstruction work the authorities intended to begin on the Square. Up to the present, points out, no building work on Triumphal Square has begun.