The Moscow authorities have refused to grant permission for a rally against “political repressions” and “violations of human rights,” saying that state law does not recognize such a phenomenon in the country.
The application to hold the event was rejected by the authorities on the grounds that the “current law does not provide any measures used by the state for repression based on political motives,” the official refusal letter reads.
The letter further explained, “in accordance to the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the government guarantees equal rights and freedom of the individual.” The letter also said that the constitution rejects any forms of violation of human rights based on “social, racial, national, language or religious affiliation.” The constitution also guarantees judicial protection.
The petition was filed from an organizer’s address some 700 kilometers away from Moscow, in the capital city of the Mari El Republic.
The rally was to take place on Saturday near the Pushkinskaya Metro station to protest the prosecution of those who were detained in Moscow on May 6th this year.
The organizers refer to at least 18 people charged over the unrest at a protest on the eve of Vladimir Putin's inauguration for a third presidential term. Only one person has faced trial so far, and was jailed for four and a half years after admitting to assaulting police.
The organizers planned to slowly reveal to the crowd a picture and a brief identity description of each of the eighteen arrested in the so-called “Bolotnaya” case.
The refusal letter confused the organizers, who posted on their Facebook page that they will brainstorm on how to arrange a meeting. Some of the suggestions already posted are to appeal the decision in court or to call a much larger rally and ask for a separate approval from the authorities.
The confusion also emerged as the organizers used the same text and template that they used in a July application – which was approved.
“The entire text of the notification, which we submitted to the municipality, was copied from the notice which was served on July 26. The guys held their successful event then,” the post read.
The Solidarity movement's Sergei Davidis commented on the latest decision, saying that “you can only see the situation as absurd – both logically and from a legal point of view,” he wrote on an Ekho Moskvy blog.
Another post on the site showed full support for the authorities, stating, “they did the right thing. It’s time to stand up to these elements. Let the citizens live peacefully. Please get rid of these scoundrels and rascals on the streets.”