OSCE PA human rights leaders disturbed by mass detentions in Moscow

COPENHAGEN, 28 July 2019 - Following reports of detention of more than 1000 protesters in central Moscow over the weekend, the leaders of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's human rights committee expressed concern about respect for the freedom of peaceful assembly in Russia. Committee Chair Kyriakos Hadijyianni (MP, Cyprus), Vice-Chair Michael Link (MP, Germany) and Rapporteur Susana Amador (MP, Portugal) called on the authorities to fully respect fundamental freedoms and OSCE commitments.

The demonstrations in central Moscow were organized by protesters against what they consider inappropriate decisions by election administrators to refuse registration to opposition candidates in upcoming local elections. Saturday's demonstration was not approved by the authorities.

"Russia, as all OSCE countries, has guaranteed its people the right of peaceful assembly. Unfortunately, the mass detentions and violence by police this weekend show that this fundamental freedom is not being respected. Peaceful citizens should not be punished for turning up and expressing their opinion," said the three leaders of the General Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions, noting that Article 31 Of the Russian Constitution states that "Citizens of the Russian Federation shall have the right to assemble peacefully, without weapons, hold rallies, meetings and demonstrations, marches and pickets".

Observers deployed by the OSCE for previous elections have repeatedly concluded that freedom of assembly was not respected. Following the 2018 presidential election observers concluded that "freedom of assembly has effectively been curtailed by the arbitrary application of ... restrictions".



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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