Russian opposition denied protest site again

16th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

Moscow authorities said Monday a favourite site for Russian opposition activists to demonstrate will soon close for construction, after again denying them a permit to hold a protest.

Russia's liberal opposition had applied once more to rally on Triumfalnaya Square, but were originally told by city authorities that the pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi had already planned to hold a rally there on August 31.

Liberal activists try to hold rallies on the square on the 31st in order to defend the right of hold peaceful demonstrations, which is article 31 in the Russian constitution, but are regularly denied permission by city authorities on various pretexts.

On Monday a Moscow municipal official told the Interfax news agency the square would soon be closed for construction of an underground car park.

"This is regular spot (for rallies) ... It's our tradition, but apparently the authorities don't like this tradition," said Ludmila Alexeyeva, a prominent human rights activist who was forced into exile for years by the Soviets.

Radical leftist leader Eduard Limonov told Moscow Echo radio they would not be deterred by the move.

"Everything will be fine, on August 31 nearly 1,500 people will be there."

© 2010 AFP

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