Russian President Vladimir Putin has reportedly withdrawn a blanket ban on demonstrations in and around the upcoming Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi.
Putin last year ordered a ban on any demonstrations in Sochi not connected with the Games from Jan. 7 to March 21, and the move was widely criticized by human rights organizations.
According to Washington Post, an order published on the Kremlin’s web site said that meetings, gatherings, demonstrations, marches and picketing that are not connected with the Games may be held in places or along routes approved by the Interior Ministry, which is in charge of the country’s police.
A spokesman said that the organizers of the Olympic Games together with the leaders of the Krasnodar Region and Sochi City Hall have been ordered by the president to choose a square in the city where rallies, demonstrations and other events could be held freely. (ANI)