Russia: St. Petersburg tightly restricts public gatherings
|Publisher||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty|
|Publication Date||20 February 2013|
|Cite as||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Russia: St. Petersburg tightly restricts public gatherings, 20 February 2013, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/513dd1b421.html [accessed 11 March 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
February 20, 2013
Protests will need official approval.
The local assembly of Russia's second-largest city, St. Petersburg, has banned public gatherings in the city's central squares and avenues.
The law adopted in the third reading on February 20 only allows gatherings that have official permission and are 50 meters from government buildings, schools, hospitals, or police stations.
Public gatherings can be held without advance permission by a maximum of 200 people in specially designated areas.
The new law does not apply to the meetings of lawmakers with voters, religious ceremonies, sports competitions, and cultural events devoted to the celebration of holidays and historic dates.
Lawmakers from the parliament's opposition parties voted against the law.
The leader of the opposition Yabloko party, Grigory Yavlinsky, called the law unconstitutional, adding that his party will fight to repeal it.
Based on reporting by Fontanka.ru and Interfax