Interfax: March 26 rally organizers warned of illegality of staging rallies in city center – Moscow authorities

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

MOSCOW. March 23 (Interfax) – Moscow authorities have considered all the applications filed by organizers for public events to be held in central Moscow on March 26, Vladimir Chernikov, head of the Moscow Department for Regional Security and Combating Corruption, told Interfax on Thursday.

“The Department has received five applications from a group of people for public events to be held in the center of Moscow on March 26. The expected numbers range between 10,000 and 15,000 people,” Chernikov said.

These applications were turned down in accordance with the federal laws on rallies and assemblies, he said.

“First of all, the organizers decided to conduct several events simultaneously in various locations across the city far away from each other. By doing so they put in doubt their ability to ensure a correct sequence of events and the safety of both participants and people or local residents who might just happen to there,” the department chief said.

The organizers will be unable to be present simultaneously in all of the venues on March 26 and thus fail to honor the obligation to respect order, he said.

The second reason is the lack of space for the stated number of participants, Chernikov said. “A new application was filed on March 20 for the conduct of a public event. Within the statutory period the organizers were offered a choice between two locations: Pererva street (Maryino district) or the ‘Hyde park’ at Sokolniki Park,” Chernikov said.

The applicants refused to consider the possibility of gathering at the proposed venues, he said. “In view of their refusal to conduct the rally in recommended places, the organizers were issued with a prosecutorial precaution of violation of the law on assemblies, rallies, demonstrations, marches and pickets. We believe that the illegal actions of the organizers may create inconveniences both for Moscow residents and visitors, ruin their weekend plans,” the department director said.

Earlier the opposition activist Alexey Navalny said that he had sent an application to the Moscow city authorities for a march and rally to be held in the city center.

[featured image is file photo]