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Public Company «Strategy 31»
The problem of violations of human rights to peaceful assembly acquires a primary value in Russian Federation. These violations, along with violations of suffrages and freedom of speech actually threaten all democratic values of a civil society in Russia. And if the earlier these violations were fixed as the separate facts, from 2006 they began to have not only mass, but also system character in the majority of regions of Russia
For the last year the number of protest actions in the regions of Russia grew in 2 times, and the number of violations of human rights to peaceful assembly increased approximately 15 times. Thus the actions of organs of power to curb public shares become more brutal and ruthless.
If earlier interdictions and crackdowns rallies, demonstrations and processions occur only in individual cases, and in party disputes appealed to norms of the law, today such actions began to carry criminal character frankly.
The number of the facts of cruel treatment with demonstrators grows in a geometrical progression, as well false arrest and abductions, falsification administrative and criminal cases. With the connivance or direct support of prosecutors and court impunity of guilty public servants became unprecedented
«Strategy 31» - The All-Russia civil movement in protection of a freedom of assembly in Russia.
Began in summer 2009 years, as a termless series of civil protest actions in protection of 31st article of the Constitution of the Russian Federation (about a freedom of assembly) which are regularly spent since July, 31st, 2009 in Moscow on the Triumphal Square each 31 date if such number in a month is present.
From July, 31, 2009, along with the Moscow shares, mass meetings within the framework of «Strategy-31» each 31 number are spent in Astrakhan.
January 31, 2010 rallies and pickets in defense of the 31 the article of the Constitution have passed in 19 cities of Russia, whereupon «Strategy-31» purchased character of all-russian motion. In March 2010, «Movement 31» seized more than 35 regions of Russia.
« The citizens of Russian Federation have the right to gather peacefully without the weapon, to hold meetings, meetings and demonstrations, processions and picketing»
Procedure of realization of right on freedom of assembly is regulated the special federal law «About assemblies, meetings, demonstrations, processions and picketing».
The law establishes notifying character of carrying out of public shares and defines procedure of registration of such shares.
In addition, an obvious dissonance in procedure of «concordance» makes specific prohibitions against places venues of public shares.
According to clause 8 of the Law to places where shares are not supposed, are carried:
The procedure for harmonizing the action assumes discussion with organizers of a place and time of carrying out of the action, taking into account all obstacles and complications. Thereupon so rigid restriction of places of carrying out of shares (especially at buildings of district representations of the President of the Russian Federation and courts), is represented inadequate.
Officials cited the most diverse arguments in favor of denial of registration of shares.
As «typical» it is possible to present such arguments taken from answers of administrations on the notices:
- Action is not far from the other actions or activities
These arguments not only are not based on the law, but also are vicious in absence in them of any representation about a priority in observance of human rights. Officials make decisions, being guided by exclusively political expediency. Obviously, at full vulnerability of participants of shares, actions of representatives of authorities get more and more rigid and retaliatory forms.
As typical, it is possible to list following infringements:
Withdrawal of passports at detained after liberation from under guards.
Initiated in July 2009, the leader of the coalition «Other Russia», Eduard Limonov «Strategy-31» subsequently been supported by well-known Russian human rights organizations - the Moscow Helsinki Group, Human Rights Center «Memorial», movement «For Human Rights», as well as a number of socio-political movements and organizations.
On beginning 2010 years none of the mass meetings on the Triumphal Square of Moscow within the framework of «Strategy-31» was never sanctioned authorities
Among the reasons for the refusal to agree called scheduled in the same place: the festival of «Choose health, be as we» (July 31, 2009), sports festival of youth (August 31, 2009), military and sports holiday «Division» (31 October 2009), the action pro-Kremlin movement «Russia young» (31 December 2009), the holiday «Winter fun» (31 January 2010), a mass rally of pro-Kremlin youth organizations «Day of Generation» (March 31, 2010). Each of the past in Moscow shares the «Strategy-31 overclocked by policemen and riot police, accompanied by mass arrests of participants of these shares.
Similar mass meetings in Astrakhan within the limits of «Strategii-31» also did not receive the coordination at the authorities, and their participants were exposed to detentions and prosecution on the administrative articles.
Greater public and international response evoked action on Dec. 31, 2009, during which soldier’s riot among the dozens of other detainees had been captured and forwarded to the police department chair Ludmila Alekseeva MHG.
The chairman of Euro Parliament Ezhi Buzek and National Security council of the USA have stated the indignation of detention known rights defender, the newspaper «The New York Times» has given the front page to article about this protest action «Enthusiasm of the Russian dissidents will take out any tests».
From January, 31, 2010 simultaneously with the Moscow action on Triumph Square meetings and pickets within the limits of «Strategii-31» began to pass also in other 18 cities of Russia - St. Petersburg, Arkhangelsk, Vladivostok, Yekaterinburg, Kemerovo, Irkutsk and other
«Strategy-31 purchased all-russian character, being transformed from a local initiative in the wide movement. March 21, 2010 in Moscow has passed conference of participants of the movement, which brought together delegates from a dozen member cities «Strategy-31.
On March, 31st, 2010 mass meetings within the limits of «Strategii-31» have passed in 38 cities of Russia. Besides, the Finnish section Amnesty International has spent near the Russian embassy to Helsinki picket in support of «Strategii-31».
Pickets in support of the «Movement of 31» were also held in Berlin, Tel Aviv and Brno.
April 19, 2010 at strategy-31.ru began work site «Strategy-31.
December 31, 2009 the co-chairman of party «Just cause» Leonid Gozman named the actions of authorities, which have dispersed meeting on the Triumphal Square, «stupidity» and «a disgrace»:
«I cannot imagine greater foolishness than the dispersal of peaceful demonstrations on the eve of New Year and a greater shame than detention Ludmila Mikhailovnoy Alekseevoy. Such nonsense’s, to be exact to tell, crimes undermine hope of positive changes much more, than strange economic and political decisions of the authorities. Year in which there were so much tragedies, comes to the end with a shame»
January 5, 2010-known dissident and publicman Valeria Novodvorskaya the transfer of « Separate opinion « on the Echo of Moscow condemned the actions of the authorities to disperse shares «Strategy 31:
«That is here the power is absolutely not right. Have a complete right. Here, they need a New Year's Eve Constitution. If they want to - let the New Year on Triumph Square. Let spend the night there, let will put tents there — have a right. Everyone has the right to rely on the Constitution, to call for its protection and has nobody the rights it to stop. But the power so dumb».
January 29, 2010 article « When it is ashamed not to come « activist «Solidarity» Roman Dobrokhotov, calling to join the stock on Triumph Square, described the most popular reasons for refusal to participate in the «Strategy-31»: «Tradition returns, when to the well-educated, respecting itself man in certain moment simply improperly to be not on the action of protest. The one who will not come on January, 31st — or is simply so ignorant that did not know about the action, or is so cowardly that has not come …»
On December, 31st, 2009 active workers of movement «Russia young» have free spent on the Triumphal area «counter-action» Father Frost against Bad Santy, handing out leaflets and chanting slogans of «Bad Santa GO HOME! », «Santa Claus Blow on HOUSE! ».
In the press-release of motion talked: «Grandfather Moroz Against! He is against the lie of «disagreement», which flows from the mouth of Limonov, Kasparov, Kasyanov. Against the Lies «defenders», mastered the foreign grants.
Against the orange revolution and the collapse of Russia. That is why our Santa Claus handed bad Santé ticket Moscow - New York».
February 1, 2010 TV presenter Vladimir Pozner in its authoring transmission on Channel called the action in defense of the Constitution «unconstitutional»:
«Having offered not consent some variants where it is possible to hold meeting, the authorities did not break the Constitution absolutely, and here having objected and having told: «we will conduct however, as want», almost not consent, well, in general, have opposed the law and not only the law. In my opinion, in this case they break spirit of the constitution. I am for civil disobedience, when the question is about a fight against repressive laws, it is here necessary to fight, but it is a not that case.
As it seems to me, that have occurred, even postpones prospects of development of democracy in Russia, than approaches. At least, so it seems to me …»
In January 2010, international human rights organization «Amnesty International» expressed concern over the ban of the Moscow authorities for carrying out the opposition and human rights activists rally in support of the 31st Article of the Constitution of Russia, seeing the actions of the authorities politically motivated.
In the statement Interfax the head of the Russian separation of «Amnesty International» Sergey Nikitin talked:
«We already addressed with an appeal to authorities of Moscow to remove obstacles to meeting carrying out in protection of 31st article of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. We said that 11 article of the European convention under human rights also speaks about the right of people to free peace procession and demonstration».
In the first numbers of January, 2010 the Chairman of Euro Parliament Ezhi Buzek expressed indignation at the way the police treat protesters, among whom was there was also the winner of the award of a name Saharova Lyudmila Alekseeva:
«I am deeply disappointed and shocked by the fact of detention of the Russian human rights experts in Moscow.
<…>In a democratic country people should be entitled to organized protest, even anti-government and authorities»
A month later, the detention on Triumph Square the other winners of the Sakharov Prize Oleg Orlov, has caused new sharp statements of the Chairman of Euro Parliament:
«On behalf of the European Parliament I wish to express my shock news of the detention of 100 people, including the head of the Human Rights Centre» Memorial «and the laureate Andrei Sakharov in 2009 Oleg Orlov»
From the moment of the announcement «Strategii-31» in July, 2009, the main participants in its stocks were NBP, Eduard Limonov's supporters, activists of the opposition coalition «The Other Russia» and «Left Front». In private, the shares involved some activists of the liberal-democratic and leftist movements.
From January 2010 rally in support of freedom of assembly on Triumph Square officially supported:
Moscow Helsinki Group
Human Rights Centre «Memorial»
All-Russian Movement «For Human Rights»
The Moscow branch of movement «Solidarity»
The union of solidarity with political prisoners ««We are convinced, that for the construction of the legal state in which there will be no political prisoners, it is necessary to force to observe the power constitutional laws of citizens, in particular – their right to free peace meetings», - is informed on an organization site.
Youth Movement «We»
NDSM «... support for action lies in the fact that people should just come to protest against a total ban on demonstrations
Social democratic group «Left Socialist Action»
Federation of car owners Russia (FAR)
«Along with other movements, we plan to use this right to peacefully enjoy tea at the monument to Mayakovsky,» - said in a press release movement, is at the disposal Kasparov.Ru January 30.
Earlier, an action supported by folk artists Alexander Filipenko and Natalia Fateev, writers Grigory Oster and Zakhar Prilepin, conveys «special letter».
In turn, human rights organization Amnesty International on Jan. 29 asked the authorities in Moscow with an appeal not to interfere with the scheduled for Jan. 31 meeting. It is necessary to notice that on January, 30th the head of the Municipal Department of Internal Affairs of Moscow Vladimir Kolokoltsev has declared to «Echo Moscow» that the militia will not admit carrying out of the unapproved action on January, 31st on the Triumphal Square.
In July, 2009 one of leaders of a coalition «Other Russia» Edward Limonov has acted with idea of long-term «Strategii-31» — carrying out of regular civil actions in protection of a freedom of assembly each 31 number in the same place, on the Triumphal Square of Moscow.
Edward Limonov so formulated the purposes and problems of this protest project:
«Strategy-31» allow us to:
To designate a hot point in town, where we call the citizens to defend their rights: one date, one hour, one square, one purpose — to obtain a right to conduct the peaceful mass meetings;
We save on the media, declaring once, when and where to assemble, install protest tradition;
Citizens, accustomed to the Liberty Square (Triumph), will continue to know where to be in cases of large political states of emergency;
Around live struggle for Constitution article 31 it is possible to unite the most fearless forces of a society, despite of party distinctions;
At «Strategy-31», thus, there is a single purpose; there is an enormous prospect of development.
Our society has long needed a single, non-partisan non-political one raised a flag. We heaved up such flag. We will involve, thus, more and more not consent and protest forces each time. Seeing an example of hundreds courageous, to us thousand will come. At «Strategy-31», thus, there is a single purpose; there is an enormous prospect of development.
The first action under the «Strategy-31» was held on Triumph Square in Moscow July 31, 2009.
The city refused to agree on an application for a rally, referring to the fact that at 15:00 that day in the square was scheduled sports festival «Choose a health, be as we! »
There are no alternatives for meeting the mayor's office had been proposed!
By the middle of the day to the area were drawn considerable force of law enforcement agencies - more than ten buses with the police and riot police, eight trucks with covered interior ministry troops, as well as more than a dozen crews DPS.
The area has been surrounded; entrance on the area blocked built вряд four dump-body trucks of «KamAz». At the deserted square were seen only three members of the official sports event.
Despite an interdiction of the authorities, by 18:00 on the Triumphal area has gathered about 200 participants of meeting in protection of 31 articles of the Constitution. Within an hour, police and riot police, occasionally lining up in the chain, began to press people now in one or the other side, trying to expel people from the area or drive to the subway.
Simultaneously with it were spent detentions as participants of the action, and casual passers-by. According to the Municipal Department of Internal Affairs of Moscow 47 persons have been detained.
Among them were National Bolsheviks, members of the OGF, «Solidarity, civic activists, passersby and journalists. Many of them were beaten. All of them were taken to the capital's police department. Organizers of the rally filed a lawsuit in court, considering a ban on the rally illegal.
However, the Tver court of Moscow on Sept. 8, 2009 upheld the refusal of the city authorities agreed to hold a «rally of Dissent» on July 31 Triumph Square.
On August 31, 2009 was scheduled for another rally in defense of freedom of assembly.
On August, 21st organizers of the action have submitted the notice to the mayoralty, the response was obtained only after five days on August 26, despite the fact that the law obliges the authorities within three days to consider the application
The mayoralty has refused the meeting coordination, explaining the decision «unfitness of the Triumphal area for placing of 500 persons» and presence of other notice on carrying out in this place of «public action». It was offered to organizers to hold the meeting in parkway Chistoprudnom or the area of the Krasnopresnensky outpost.
Organizers of the rally considered the arguments of officials unfounded and decided to hold a meeting in accordance with their original plans, despite the ban of the authorities.
By the evening of August 31 Triumph Square was cordoned off by a tight ring of policemen and riot policemen who were inside the cordon competition cyclists.
By 18:00 in the cordon were collected by the protesters, as well as observers profit executive director of the movement «For Human Rights» Lev Ponomarev, Chairman of MHG and Lyudmila Alekseeva.
Ten riot police, holding hands, surrounded by Lyudmila Alekseeva a dense ring and escorted her all the time staying on the square, preventing contact with the press. Eduard Limonov, was detained by police on the way to Triumph Square.
The citizens who have arrived for participation in meeting, on the area did not suppose, at attempt скандирования slogans participants of the action were late, some roughly dragged on asphalt in militian buses. Suppressed also contact participants with the press.
Thus, during an interview with journalists was detained Lev Ponomarev, and standing next to him, former Soviet political prisoner Mikhail Kukobaka. During the arrest Lev Ponomarev smashed glasses.
Close to the metro Mayakovskaya without explanation, was detained one of the organizers of the rally Sergei Aksenov, who at that time giving interviews to journalists. The leader of youth movement «We» Roman Dobrokhotov was detained twice.
In total 30 people were arrested, after which the police began to force people out to the metro station
October 19, 2009 Lyudmila Alekseeva, Eduard Limonov and Konstantin Kosyakin applied to the town hall to hold the next meeting on Triumph Square, scheduled for October 31, 2009.
Mayor's Office again refused to agree on an action and proposed alternatives - marsh area or the embankment of Taras Shevchenko, a reason for rejecting that on Triumph Square on that day will be held war games «timed to the anniversary of the Soviet offensive outside Moscow.
(However, a counter-offensive near Moscow began December 5, 1941, and lasted until January 8, 1942).
«The authorities continued to take confrontational solutions», - commented Lyudmila Alekseeva attempts to City Hall to change the venue of the rally, describing the objections of the authorities untenable.
The organizers made a series of attempts to negotiate with officials on a compromise solution:
«We learned that the game will be held from 16 to 19 hours. Then we in turn put forward a counter proposal to move the game for one hour, since our application was for 18 hours» - told reporters Eduard Limonov.
But, despite all efforts, the positive response from the authorities of the city and has not been received, organizers decided to go on Triumph Square despite a ban authorities.
By the evening of October 31 Triumph Square was cordoned off by police, she was surrounded by more than 20 buses with riot police, as well as machine internal forces. In the center stood a tent, a field kitchen, waving the Soviet flag - there were official military and patriotic events.
For participation in meeting about a militian cordon have gathered by different estimations from 100 as has declared subsequently the Municipal Department of Internal Affairs of Moscow, to 500 as the press wrote, participants of not taken place meeting.
Ludmila Alekseeva came with a poster «Respect the Russian constitution» and stayed on the area for some time. It is everywhere accompanied by Head of Public Relations Internal Affairs in Moscow, Colonel Viktor Biryukov, protecting against attempts to arrest by subordinates. After Lyudmila Alekseeva, left the area began provocation and detention.
Activists of the pro-Kremlin youth movement «Young Russia» jumped out of the subway in masks and overalls, lit fireworks, were dropped leaflets. In their leaflets, they gathered at the square called «evil dolls» that «hate Russia and are controlled from abroad».
The police began to detain the activists as «Young Russia» and the protesters.
All were delivered to the offices of more than 50 participants in the «Strategy-31», the other for half an hour the police managed to drive out to the area to the metro station.