Freedom of Assembly
the detained must be immediately released!
Statement by the Chair of
the YABLOKO party, January
The Russian United Democratic Party
YABLOKO condemns the actions by the authorities instigating
the unjust rulings by the courts on holding Boris
Nemtsov and other oppositional politicians (who participated
in a permitted action on December 31) under arrest
for many days. These decisions
are unlawful and politically biased, and represent
a disgrace to the police that fabricated the evidence
as well as the courts of the first instance that went
on a leash of the police.
This constitutes another attempt of
‘tightening up the screws’ in the very
beginning of 2011 which demonstrates growth of panic
in the Russian government resulting in political inadequacy.
We demand that President Medvedev
must adopt measures required for immediate release
of all the detained and taking under control the Moscow
police which has been discrediting the state power
in the eyes of the Russian citizens and the world
International discussed political banditism in Russia
Press Release, November 13,
YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin
made a report on situation in Russia at the meeting
of Liberal International Executive Committee which
is taking place in Cape Town, South African Republic.
Mitrokhin began his report with bad
news. He told about an attack on civil activist Konstantin
Fetisov and journalist Oleg Kashin. “Such crimes
become more frequent, as they go unpunished,”
stressed YABLOKO’s leader.
According to Mitrokhin, “in
words Russian leaders advocate the rule of law and
democracy. But their deeds strikingly differ from
their declarations”. “The Russian authorities
are unable to ensure implementation of laws in the
country. But they widely practice arbitrary use of
law as an instrument for protection of their political
and economic interests,” he noted.
Regional elections are falsified,
which demonstrates insecurity of the ruling party’s
position. “High popularity ratings of Putin
and Medvedev and very low rates of public trust to
the state and public institutes demonstrate instability
of our political system,” Mitrokhin said...
report on Russia by Sergei Mitrokhin.
Executive Committee of Liberal
International. Cape Town, November 13, 2010
It has become increasingly dangerous
to state one’s position in Russia. For the past
week civil activist Konstantin Fektistov and journalist
Oleg Kashin were beaten almost to death and severely
injured. Such crimes become
more frequent, as they go unpunished. Murders of well-known
journalist Anna Politkovskaya, lawyer Stanislav Markelov
and human rights activist Natalia Estemirova are still
For the past years our party YABLOKO
lost several our friends and colleagues – journalists
and human rights activists Larissa Yudina, Yuri Schekochikhin
and Farid Babayev. These crimes are still uninvestigated.
The fact that crimes against politicians, journalists
and human rights activists are unpunished gives rise
to new crimes.
The Russian authorities are unable
to ensure implementation of laws in the country. But
they widely practice arbitrary use of law as an instrument
for protection of their political and economic interests...
demand to stop unlawful detentions and toughening
Statement by YABLOKO’s Chairman, August 26, 2010.
The Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO expresses
its categorical protest in connection with a court’s
sentence to renowned human rights activist Lev Ponomaryov.
This sentence is another example demonstrating the
use of force when citizens try to realise their constitutional
rights. Grave violations of the law and the use of
force in detentions and fraudulent evidence in trials
have become an everyday practice for the interior.
The courts acting in Stalin’s style are guided by
the idea that the law enforcement are always right
and protesting or dissenting citizens are necessarily
activists arrested by the Russian parliament for picketing
against the FSB law finally released, however, are
facing a trial
Press Release, June 11, 2010.
..Major Brezhnev personally participated
in detaining Grokhovsky: first he dragged Artur to
the police car and then hit him in the belly. Now
Anton is heading to the hospital to certify the bruises.
Grokhovsky also told that in February
he had been already arrested by the same policeman
for one-person picketing. Due to the video recording
made by YABLOKO Grokhovsky was acquitted by the court
then. Grokhovsky hopes that the court will acquit
the activists this time too, as the action was also
International to discuss arbitrary actions of Moscow
police in breaking YABLOKO's picket
Press Release, June 11, 2010.
YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin
expressed his indignation with police breaking of
YABLOKO’s one-person picket and arresting the activists
protesting against the amendments to the law on the
Federal Security Service (former KGB) by the Russian
parliament building. No permission or coordination
with authorities is required for conducting one-person
pickets in accordance with the Russian law. Nevertheless
the picket was brutally broken and the activists were
Mitrokhin said that actions by police
officers who arrested the activist holding the placard,
as well as three other activists who were standing
by were a rude violation of the Constitution and the
law “On assemblies, meetings, demonstrations and pickets”...
“Preventing Extremism” brutally broken
Press Release, June 11, 2010.
Action against introduction of amendments
on the law on the Federal Security Service (the former
KGB), which YABLOKO attempted to hold today by the
building of the State Duma (the Russian Parliament)
was brutally broken by police. Despite of the fact
that it was a one-person picketing (four activists
had to replace each other in turn) and did not require
any permissions or notifications from the authorities,
four YABLOKO’s activists were arrested and taken
to the local police department and a placard depicting
the head of KGB Felix Dzerzhinsky, the closest accomplice
of Stalin in setting terror in the country Lavrenty
Beria, and Vladimir Putin and bearing a the words
"The KGB people vote FOR it!" was confiscated.
On June 11, at 9.30 am, half an hour
before the plenary session the Russian parliament
had to start, First Deputy Chair of the Moscow Yabloko
Galina Mikhalyova took her place by the main entrance
to the parliament building with a placard depicting
Felix Dzerzhinsky, Lavrenty Beria and Vladimir Putin
against a black ground and a hand voting for them.
“The law on preventing extremism. The KGB people
vote FOR it!" ran the slogan under the picture.
The Russian parliament will discuss this draft law
in the first reading today...
up of rallies means professional incompetence of the
Statement by the YABLOKO party.
June 1, 2010
The Russian United Democratic Party
YABLOKO consders the reaction of the authorities to
the protest actions that took place in Moscow, St.Petersburg
and other Russian cities yesterday be unacceptable
A deliberately tough use of obviously
superior police forces against the groups of citizens
who simply expressed their opinion without endangering
anyone’s security represents a proof of inability
of state officials, top officials inclusive, to adequately
assess the situation in the country...
activists leave the court protesting against collusion
of the judge with OMON
Press Release. February 23,
The arrested activists – YABLOKO’s
leader Sergei Mitrokhin, General Major Anton Goretsky
and Artur Grokhovsky, aid of YABLOKO’s leader,
spent over an hour in the district court waiting for
hearings on their case. After an hour expired they
went to the courtroom to find out when the hearings
were to take place. However, they saw a judge discussing
something with the OMON policemen who were witnesses
on the case. According to Grokhovsky, several policemen
were standing by the judge’s table and one of
them was even sitting on the table. However, the judge
demanded to close the door and not to interfere into
YABLOKO’s activists left the court in protest
against collusion of the judge and the police, despite
resistance of the policemen who brought them to the
court. “I think that what has happened is a
manifestation of an arbitrary rule and also a humiliation
to General Goretsky who on the Day of the Defender
of the Fatherland was kept in the police station for
three hours and then kept in court,” Mitrokhin
said. “The judge not only behaved incorrectly
towards us, but even tried to make a collusion with
the witnesses who were actually a party in the case,”
leader and General Major arrested for picketing in
protection of military pensioners’ rights
Release. February 23, 2010
YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin
and leader of the Moscow Region YABLOKO General Major
Anton Goretsky were arrested for conducting a picket
in protection of the military pensioners’ rights
that had not been coordinated with the authorities.
The local authorities declined YABLOKO’s application
to conduct picketing by the Ministry of Defence on
February 23 (the Day of Defenders of the Fatherland).
However, the same action had been allowed on January
The participants of the picket held slogans “Scanty
Military Pensions – a Disgrace to the State!”
when about 15 OMON policemen arrested YABLOKO’s
activists and drove them to the local police station.
staff of the Government of the Moscow Region interferes
with YABLOKO’s picketing
Press Release, January 28,
The staff of the Government of the
Moscow Region interfered with YABLOKO’s one-man
picketing in front of their building. YABLOKO protests
against virtual introduction of a ban on one-man pickets
which has been initiated by the Moscow Region Duma.
The parliament of the Moscow Region
submitted to the State Duma a draft law stipulating
that one-man pickets (in addition to demonstrations,
rallies and group pickets) should be not only coordinated
with the authorities but organisers of such pickets
should also submit the plan and schedule of such picketing.
Activists of the Moscow Region branch of YABLOKO call
one-man picketing the only form of street protest
which has been available, as normally the authorities
ban rallies and pickets with a large number of participants
under faked pretexts.
and leaders of the YABLOKO party participate in the
action in memory of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasiya
Baburova in Moscow
Press Release, January 20,
Activists and leaders of the YABLOKO
party participated in the action in memory of Stanislav
Markelov and Anastasiya Baburova murdered a year ago.
Party leader Sergei Mitrokhin and
member of the Political Committee Sergei Kovalyov
participated in the march along Petrovsky Boulevard.
Grigory Yavlinsky laid flowers to the place where
Markelov and Baburova were killed and came to the
picket by the Griboyedov monument where the march
YABLOKO’s activists noted that
they managed to escape mass-scale police reprisals
only due to interference of Russia’s Ombudsman
Vladimir Lukin who came to Petrovsky Boulevard.
At present YABLOKO’s activists
are trying to prevent the second wave of arrests,
provoked by the police who tore the megaphone from
the speakers at the picket.
and meeting Civil Society Against a Police State took
place in Moscow
Press release, May 1, 2004
About 5,000 people participated in the march and meeting
Civil Society Against a Police State, which took place
in Moscow on May 1, 2004. Civil Society Against a
Police State was the main slogan of the action.
activists of the YABLOKO party will participate in
meetings and marches in 35 Russian regions on May
Press release, April 30, 2004
The main slogans of the YABLOKO party will be as follows:
No to a police state! Let us protect democracy! In
many cities YABLOKO activists will also carry social
Moscow Mayor's Office gives the go-ahead to democratic
march and meeting on May 1
Press release, April 27, 2004
On Tuesday, April 27, 2004, the Moscow Mayor's Office
authorised the holding in Moscow of a democratic march
and a meeting under the slogan "Civil Society
Against a Police State" on May 1, 2004.
Civil Union of Vladimir began its work in Vladimir
Press release, April 24, 2004
A new public organisation - the Civil Union of Vladimir
was established in Vladimir. The founders of the union
are regional branches of two parties – the Russian
Democratic Party YABLOKO and the Union of Right-Wing
the democratic march of May 1, 2004
Press-Service of the Moscow branch of YABLOKO, April
On April 9, 2004, the Moscow Mayor's Office refused
an appeal from the Democratic Party YABLOKO and a
number of public organisations to hold a march on
May 1, 2004, under the slogan "Civil Society
Against a Police State." The formal grounds for
the refusal stated that the documents had been incorrectly
Moscow Mayor's Office refused the application from
Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO and a number of public
organisations to hold a meeting on May 1, 2004
Press release, April 9, 2004
In addition to YABLOKO, the following organisations
planned to participate in the action: the Committee-2008,
the Union of Right-Wing Forces (SPS), the Moscow Helsinki
Group, the movements "For Human Rights,"
"Common Action", the Committee of Soldiers'
Mothers, as well as a number of environmental organisations
and independent trade unions.
and European Integration
Speech by Sergei Mitrokhin
Liberal International Executive Committee
Berlin, June 11, 2010
Announcing a policy towards modernisation
in Russia President of Russia put himself in line
with a number of Russian rulers-reformers who aspired
to perform radical transformations in the country.
Some specific traits of this policy resemble those
of his predecessors. The President understands modernisation
primarily as acceleration of scientific and technological
development. With some reservations about the need
for political reform, the latter look like a number
of quite shallow and very systematic activities...
Lukin: Rallies can not be “unsanctioned”
Human Rights in Russia, hro.org.
June 2, 2010
Russia’s Ombudsman and one of
the founders of the YABLOKO party Vladimir Lukin says
that the heads of the interior should apologise before
the participants of the rally they arrested at the
Triunfalnaya Square, Moscow. He
also refuses to sign an agreement on cooperation with
the Interior Ministry until this is done, runs the
Lukin has also prepared or is going
to prepare and submit to the heads of the state proposals
on “normalisation of the situation with conducting
rallies,” Grani.ru informs with a reference
to the Echo Moskvi radio station. Lukin announced
this while commenting on police breaking of the action
held in protection of Article 31 of the Constitution
of Russia which guarantees freedom of assembly. “The
Russian law does not contain such words as “sanctioned”
or “unsanctioned”, and all the talk about
sanctions are purely subjective,” Lukin stated.
He also added that the heads of the Interior Ministry
should conduct a thorough investigation of the events
at the Triumfalnaya Square in Moscow on May 31.
Lukin also reiterated that he himself
had been present at the rally and “can state
that the law enforcement acted in an extremely tough
and rude manner”. He also noted that on the
same day the authorities gave a permission to conduct
“a ‘gala-medical’ action”;
whereas all the participants of this action were allowed
to conduct a rally in the centre of Moscow from early
in the morning till late at night...
long silence by the head of the state
Nezavisimaya Gazeta. June
Yesterday the European Union publicly
expressed its concern over the situation with human
rights in Russia. Such a statement was made by deputy
head of the EU delegation in Russia Michael Webb.
On the threashold of the Rostov-Don summit Moscow
police brutally supressed an opposition rally. The
head of state in the meantime did not respond to both
of the developments. NG experts comment that Dmitry
Medvedev is deliberately disassociating himself from
the urgent problems. They note that Premier Vladimir
Putin does not avoid the human rights topic.
Michael Webb of the EU mission said
at the news conference in Rostov-on-Don that the European
Union was particularly upset by the “situation
with human rights activists and murders of journalists
in Russia”. “We have also expressed our
concern with the fact that the crimes committed by
the law enforcement go unpunished,” Webb added...
in Moscow Rough up More Demonstrators
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, July 28, 2004
The Yabloko press service reported on 27 July that
two members of the party were taken to a hospital
following a rally outside FSB headquarters in Moscow,
Ekho Moskvy and Interfax reported. The two injured,
Irina Vorobeva and Aleksei Kozhin, are members of
the party's youth wing, and one of them is reportedly
in serious condition.
By Orkhan Dzhemal and Yana Serova, Novaya Gazeta,
June 10, 2004
A referendum is a form of direct democracy. The people
themselves take decisions on state issues, without
using legislators as intermediaries. Early democracies
functioned in this way: the citizens of ancient Athens
or medieval Novgorod engaged in what amounted to constant
1.4 Million Rally on May Day
By Anneli Nerman, The Moscow Times, May 6, 2004
With many of Moscow's Soviet-era satellites joining
the European Union on Saturday, the Yabloko leader
Grigory Yavlinsky stressed that Russia's future also
lies in integration with Europe.
Yavlinsky calls on democratic parties to unite
Rosbalt, May 1, 2004
According to a Rosbalt correspondent, YABLOKO’s
leader also stated that the conditions requisite for
the functioning of independent courts, parliament
and mass media should be created in Russia. Public
and civil control over secret services and the law
and enforcement agencies should be installed.
of the meeting Civil Society Against a Police State
Moscow, Lubyanka square, May 1, 2004
Civil rights and liberties have been steadily curbed
by the authorities. The division of powers into the
legislative, the executive and the judicial has been
transformed into a sheer formality.
Russia still need May Day
With participation of Grigory Yavlinsky, Vladimir
Lukin and Sergei Mitrokhin
Based on BBC Monitoring, Anchor: Savvik Shuster, NTV
Channel, "Freedom of Speech" programme, April 30,
A table indicated that 60 per cent of the population
thought that May Day had lost its meaning; 37 per
cent thought it was important and should still be
celebrated today; 4 per cent were unable to reply.
but No Hemp Lovers on May 1
By Oksana Yablokova, The Moscow Times, April 30, 2004
Yabloko will be joined by members and supporters of
the Union of Right Forces party, the Committee 2008:
Free Choice movement, Greenpeace, and the human rights
organizations Moscow Helsinki Group, Soldiers' Mothers
and others, Yabloko spokeswoman Yevgenia Dillendorf
Putin normalized the Moscow authorities
By Yulia Taratuta and Igor Khamrayev, Kommersant,
No 77, April 28, 2004
Moscow City Hall changed its mind and allowed YABLOKO
to organize a demonstration on May 1
and Barricades: History Repeats Itself
IA MiK, April 14, 2004
...Meanwhile, another application on conducting a
democratic march and signed by the leader of the Russian
Democratic Party YABLOKO Grigory Yavlinsky, Chairperson
of the Moscow Helsinki Group Ludmila Alexeeva and
Chairperson of the Committee of Soldiers' Mothers
of Russia Valentina Melnikova was submitted to the
Moscow Mayor's Office on April 12, 2004.
Yavlinsky: The ban of the First of May march is symptomatic
Interview with Grigory Yavlinsky by Marina Gvozdevskaya,
BBC, April 9, 2004
"...And this is connected with the fact that
the action was announced as "Civil Society Against
a Police State," and it was banned because it
was stated in such an open and clear way."
is time to protect the Constitution
The Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO, Appeal to Russia's
independent public organisations, April 2, 2004
Freedom of assembly is one of the first victories
of the Russian democracy. At present we can be deprived
of this our conquest. The authorities have already
done away with the independence of the large mass
media and discredited the institution of free elections.
Condemns Protest Bill
Combined Reports, The Moscow Times, April 13, 2004
Putin is sensitive about his democratic image after
being criticized by the opposition and some Western
governments for dominating the state-run airwaves
in the run-up to his landslide re-election March 14.
Criticizes Draft Law Limiting Freedom of Assembly
MosNews, April 12, 2004
Putin called the restrictions on the freedom of assembly
"unwholesome". He said that "in terms
of our reality", the right to hold demonstrations
and processions should not be limited, the agency
Mayor's Office turns down YABLOKO's application to
organize a demonstration
By Konstantin Demchenko, Russkiy Kurier, No 75, p.1,
April 10, 2004
Yesterday the Moscow Mayor's Office refused the request
of leaders of the YABLOKO party to allow them to organize
a demonstration and a rally on May 1. The demonstration
was to take place under the slogan: "Civil society
against a police state".
Forbidden from Holding Meetings in Moscow
RIA "OREANDA", April 9, 2004
On 1 May participants in the action planned to march
along Myasnitskaya Street up to Lubyanka Square and
hold a meeting on the square near the Solovetsky Stone.
About 6,000 people planned to take part.
Rethinks Ban on Protests
By Caroline McGregor, The Moscow Times, April 5, 2004
In the wake of "serious social resonance,"
the State Duma's United Russia majority backpedaled
from outright support of a bill banning rallies in
many public places Friday, just two days after voting
in favor of it.
Supporters Stage a Picket by the Duma
RIA "Novosti", March 31, 2004
Picketers were protesting against the draft law on
rallies, meetings, demonstrations, processions and
pickets, which the Duma will discuss in the first
Demonstrates Against Restrictions to Freedom of Assembly
MosNews, March 31, 2004
Activists of the Russian liberal party Yabloko held
a protest rally near the building of the State Duma
on Wednesday morning.
near Embassies to be prohibited in Russia
pravda.ru, March 31, 2004
Demonstrations are addressed to the authorities. How
will the authorities know about popular protests,
if the demonstrations are held in residential areas?
Accuses Government of Violating Constitution
Rosbalt, March 31, 2004
Yabloko says the government's new legislation on limiting
public demonstrations violates the foundation of Russia's
constitution and is aimed at eliminating civil rights
which are guaranteed by Article 31 of the constitution.
Bill Curbing Mass Rallies Gains
By David Holley, Los Angeles Times, April 1, 2004
In a move that could push protests largely out of
the public eye, Russia's lower house of parliament
gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a law that
would ban demonstrations from a wide range of places,
including areas close to highways, government buildings
and diplomatic missions.
Meetings a Thing of the Past?
Aleksei Levchenko, Rosbalt. Translated by Alex Anderson,
Rosbalt, April 1, 2004
The Duma has adopted a very interesting new law. Deputies
have decided to severely regulate public meetings,
marches and pickets. After carefully reading it, critics
of the new legislation have concluded that the right
to hold any mass meeting will now be in question.
Bill Sharply Restricts Rallies
By Caroline McGregor, The Moscow Times, April 1, 2004
As the United Russia majority in the State Duma gave
preliminary approval to a bill outlawing protests
near government buildings Wednesday, pro-democracy
activists staged a rally outside the Duma's main entrance
to insist on their right to do just that.