MOSCOW, May 11 (Itar-Tass) —— The Communist Party’s faction in the State Duma is against harsher sanctions for violations of the legislation on organizing and holding rallies, the deputy chairman of the State Duma’s constitutional legislation committee and statehood, Communist Vadim Solovyov said.
“We have a very negative attitude to any tightening of repression against participants in demonstrations,” he told Itar-Tass. The legislator said that the right to the freedom of assembly was guaranteed by the Constitution and “restrictions must be minimal.”
On Thursday, a group of legislators presented a bill raising to 1.5 million rubles the maximum fine for abusing the established rules of organizing or holding rallies.
“Take a look at the Clean Ponds Boulevard. Baby strollers and young couples have no chance of taking a walk with all that litter, graffiti on historical monuments, broken trees and spoiled lawns and flower beds the protesters leave behind,” one of the bill’s authors, Alexander Sidyakin, of the United Russia party said. “All that must be punishable with hefty sums of cash.”
“We shall not support this draconian law,” Solovyov said. The Communist legislator acknowledged that the parliamentary opposition would hardly manage to block the bill, the more so, since the ruling party has an ally, the LDPR, Solovyov said, recalling that the Liberal Democrats voted for Dmitry Medvedev’s appointment as the prime minister.
“What we can do is to mobilize the public and propose amendments, because the adoption of such a bill is outrageous,” the legislator said.