MOSCOW, March 13 (Itar-Tass) —— Prominent Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena has proposed to hold public hearings on a bill on rallies and a referendum in Moscow on a procedure of such rallies.
Kucherena said he favoured the idea of rallies, marches and pickets. “Though, on the other hand, such actions should be held legally, in a civilized manner, not hindering normal life of those who do not take part in them,” Kucherena, who chairs a commission on interaction with the court system of the Russian Public Chamber, said in an interview with the Tuesday issue of the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily.
In his words, “security measures taken by the authorities to protect the city and its inhabitants from possible riots make Moscow look like a city overcrowded with police.” More to it, “policemen are not only tasked to ensure public order but also have to see to it that protesters stand away from motor roads. For these ends, the authorities each time install kilometers-long fences,” he said.
“Public actions are only to be held in conditions suitable for such actions, where there are no threats to security,” he stressed.
“I propose to hold a referendum in Moscow. Let the Muscovites speak up what they think about the responsibility of organizers of such actions, about where and how such actions could be held. Let us give the floor to ordinary people rather than the authorities. This is the way to overcome all existing conflicts,” he said.
He also said it would be expedient to reconsider the 2004 law on rallies and hold public hearings on the matter, so that amend it on the basis of expert opinion.
On Monday, Deputy Mayor of Moscow Alexander Gorbenko said that the Moscow city authorities planned to initiate no changes to the federal law on rallies.
“The mayor of Moscow has so far not given any order to amend Law No. 54 on Rallies,” he said. “The fact that such information has been circulated by mass media for two days is linked to people’s irritation with rallies.”
“We have big problems with the realization of the existing law, since a number of organizers violated not only this law but public order as well. I wish we could learn to observe this law, so amendments are out of the question,” he said.
He also said a special working group of politician and public figures will choose a place for Moscow’s “Hyde Park” where mass rallies can be held.