Russian MPs to Toughen Public Rally Rules

The Russian parliamentary committee for constitutional law and state-building has proposed banning those charged with violating public rally regulations from organizing protests for a period of one year, the committee’s deputy head Dmitry Vyatkin said on Wednesday.

The committee has proposed that a Russian national “will not be able to organize protests… for a year after he has been charged” with violating laws regulating public rallies, Vyatkin, member of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, told RIA Novosti.

The initiative follows a week of protest actions in Moscow since President Vladimir Putin returned to the Kremlin on May 7. A round-the-clock Occupy-style tent camp protest had been held in central Moscow since Putin’s inauguration until it was dispersed by police on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, a Moscow court outlawed the camp, and more than 20 people were briefly detained by police as they refused to leave the site in the fashionable Chistye Prudy neighborhood. The activists have moved on to continue their protest at another location in central Moscow.

Anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny and Sergey Udaltsov, a leader of the Left Front movement, who were among the main organizers of the anti-Putin street protests, are currently serving 15-day jail sentences for disobeying police orders.

The State Duma committee has also proposed increasing administrative fines for violating protest regulations to 1.5 million rubles (more than $48,000) from the current 1,000 rubles (about $30). The measure is to be considered on May 18.

The committee has also suggested prohibiting those participating in protests from covering their faces to hide their identities.


Leave a comment