RUSSIALINK: “Russian Prosecutor General’s Office warns against participation in Feb 14 unsanctioned demonstration of Navalny’s supporters” – Interfax

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

MOSCOW. Feb 11 (Interfax) – The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has warned about the inadmissibility of calls for mass unrest and participation in unsanctioned demonstrations in view of the demonstration planned by supporters of Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny on February 14.

“While showing respect for the constitutional right of citizens to express their opinion and given the calls for mass (public) events organized in violation of the rally procedure, which have been made on social media, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office deems it necessary to warn individuals and legal entities of the inadmissibility of breaking the law,” the agency said in a statement.

“Please be advised that calls for mass unrest made on the Internet, same as the participation in such actions, might be classified as an offense consistent with Article 212 of the Russian Criminal Code (mass unrest),” it said.

Leonid Volkov, the head of the network of regional staffs of Navalny, said on Tuesday that it was planned to hold a demonstration in a new format in Russia on February 14. Residents of big cities were invited to go outdoors in the evening, turn on their cellphone flashlights, hold them up, and stand this way for a few minutes.

The Kremlin could not say whether the opposition demonstration involving cellphone flashlights was a call for participation in unlawful actions.

“I can’t say. We aren’t going to play hide-and-seek with anyone, but obviously, all of our law enforcers will hold the culprits responsible if they break the law,” Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Tuesday.

Supporters of Navalny held unauthorized demonstrations across Russia on January 23, January 31, and February 2. Navalny was arrested immediately upon returning to Russia from Germany on January 17. Moscow’s Simonovsky District Court ruled on February 2 to replace his suspended sentence of three years and six months in the so-called Yves Rocher case with real jail time.

[article also appeared at interfax.com/newsroom/top-stories/71067/]