Around 120 people took part in the rally in Svoboda Square. In the framework of this authorized rally there were several speeches – both by organizers and participants. One of the speakers, Stanislav Dmitriyevsky, described the proceedings instigated against him due to participation in the action of July 31 and proposed to establish a District Police Officer F.M. Lyadov Prize to be given for the most illiterate administrative offense record.
When the rally was over, almost all of its participants went for a walk. They walked along Varvarskaya Street to the Minin Monument near the Kremlin, spent some time there and left. The police did not interfere.
It must be mentioned that a similar event was planned by Strategy-31 activists on July 31. However, the action was terminated by the police, 16 participants were detained and three of them were subjected to 5 days of administrative arrest.
Employees of INGO “Committee Against Torture” were present in Svoboda Square during both rallies. Traditionally, the ICAT engages in rally observation in the context of monitoring human rights observance and compliance with generally acknowledged norms and principles of international law.
It must be noted that policemen present at the rally and accompanying rally participants during their tour to the Minin Square did not attempt to disperse the action. On the contrary, the police ensured safety and public order. In this case we can say that the authorities have complied with their obligations under the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
Meanwhile, yesterday’s action has once again demonstrated the inconsistency of the official policy regarding peaceful assemblies organized by Russian citizens. Yesterday, opposition members did the same thing as those arrested for 5 days during the July 31 rally – they went for a walk in the city centre without chanting any slogans. Besides, we would like to remind you that in August there were several “constitution promenades” in Nizhny Novgorod during which none of the participants was detained.
The project is supported by the European Commission. The content of this publication is the responsibility of INGO “Committee against Torture” and does not reflect the European Union’s position.