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Official Russian human rights bodies condemn new law on rallies

Based on Interfax reports

June 7, 2012

Russian Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin called for the new law on rallies to be sent back to the State Duma Committee for revision, while the Council for Human Rights under the Russian President published an expert assessment saying that the law violates Russian Constitution, Interfax reported on June 7.

According to Lukin, "the study of the law has shown that the document is hasty and contradictory, lacking a strict concept or clear criteria." "Instead of developing the procedure for agreeing the terms of public events and increasing the responsibility of officials for declining to agree, the focus is on proscriptive and prescriptive measures," the statement goes on. It warns that this is "likely to lead to a rise in the number of un-agreed, radical and sometimes extremist rallies", while the widely expected future convictions of rally organisers will "rightly be seen by citizens as unlawful and sometimes repressive". All this will "only serve to aggravate the situation and strengthen the protest sentiment," Lukin warned, adding that he regarded the adoption of the law in its present form as "counterproductive" and advised that it should be returned to the relevant committee of the State Duma "for a more detailed and broader discussion with the involvement of the public".

A later Interfax report said the presidential council for human rights had completed the expert assessment of the law and published its findings on its official website. It quoted its statement saying: "The main flaw of the law is that it in effect provides for the criminalization of the procedure for using a basic constitutional right, the right to a peaceful gathering." The statement goes on: "The law does not conform to the Russian Constitution in the way it was passed (Article 104 Part 3 of the Russian Constitution was breached). The law does not conform to the Russian Constitution in terms of the content of its provisions (Article 31 of the Russian Constitution was breached)."

Interfax quoted the head of the Council, Mikhail Fedotov, as saying that the experts' conclusions would be sent to the Russian president on 8 June.

See also:

Picketing against toughening of the law on rallies took place in Novosibirsk. Press Release, June 7, 2012.

Police stopped the procession to the monument to Pushkin because of the T-shirts with protest slogans. Press Release, June 6, 2012.

Activists protesting against the law on rallies arrested in Volgograd. Press Service of Volgograd YABLOKO, June 6, 2012.

Pickets against the law raising fines for rallies has taken place by the Federation Council. Press Release, June 6, 2012.

YABLOKO to continue protesting against adoption of the law raising penalties on rallies by the Federation Council and in Alexander Gardens by the Kremlin. Press Release, June 5, 2012.

Russian United Democratic Party leader Sergey Mitrokhin arrested as "a hooligan". EU Reporter. June 5, 2012

YABLOKO leader and 17 activists arrested by the State Duma. Press Release, June 5, 2012

Mitrokhin released without charges, other activists will stand before court. Press Release, May 22, 2012.

Sergei Mitrokhin and activists detained at the "walking protests" by the State Duma
Press Release, May 22, 2012.

Sergei Mitrokhin and activists detained at the "walking protests" by the State Duma
Press Release, May 22, 2012.

Youth YABLOKO to picket the State Duma protesting against raising of fines for rallies
Press Release, May 17, 2012.

Yavlinsky called on the "walking protestors" in St. Petersburg to set political goals. Interfax. May 15, 2012

Human Rights

Freedom of Assembly




June 7, 2012

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