Navalny found guilty of organizing opposition rallies
Mar 27, Moscow: The Russian opposition activist Aleksey Navalny was found guilty of staging an unsanctioned rally, and will be fined 20,000 rubles (US$350) According to local reports.
Navalny had been detained after arriving at an anti-corruption protest in downtown Moscow on Sunday. He was charged with violating a law on public gatherings and faced a fine for organizing an unsanctioned rally.
Some 8,000 people had taken part in the protest in Russia’s capital, law enforcement officials reported. As the rally continued, police used loudspeakers to call on the protesters to disperse.
The protesters turned up despite failing to obtain a permit from the mayor’s office to hold a rally at the site of their choosing. The authorities had suggested two alternative venues, which the organizers rejected. Moscow police said that taking part in the unsanctioned rally could pose a safety risk and advised people against it.
Kremlin on Monday,stated that the organizers’ claims that Sunday’s rallies in Moscow and at some other locations were sanctioned were “false and provocative.“The Kremlin respects the civil position of the people and their right to express this position… But we cannot respect those who deliberately misguide people, those who did it yesterday and the day before yesterday, provoking them into illegal activities,” said the Kremlin spokesman.
Similarly, while responding to EU's demand Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called the criticism over the detention of protesters an example of double standards.
“When the same sort of events leads to different reactions, one can only think about double standards,” he said. “I don’t recall anyone publicly expressing outrage over the decisions that were taken not long ago in Austria, the Netherlands, [and] Germany, where the authorities decided to ban certain rallies.”
The Oslo Times International News Network