The state Duma equates rallies and demonstrations

MOSCOW, February 16. The state Duma adopted in the first reading a government draft law that equates the rally to demonstrations and tent city – to the picketing.

Amendments proposed to the law “On assemblies, rallies, demonstrations, processions and picketing”. They planned to legally regulate new forms of mass protests, in particular, attributed the rally to such events, as a demonstration, and the establishment of a tent camp to picket.

Citing the need for a bill, the authors give statistics of the Ministry of interior, according to which in 2014, in Bashkortostan, Belgorod, Moscow, Rostov, Chelyabinsk regions, as well as in several other regions held protest actions with the establishment of tent cities in public areas. And in 27 subjects of the Russian Federation was held 126 events, which were attended by 4 thousand people using 1.5 thousand vehicles. “Under certain conditions such actions can turn into major presentations, group and mass violations of public order”, – stated in the explanatory Memorandum.

Meanwhile, the initiative has caused rough discussion among deputies in the course of which representatives of all factions except United Russia, spoke against the proposed amendments. In particular, the Deputy from the Communist party Yuri sinelschikov stated that “in many party organizations of the Communist party on the ground there are cars marked with party symbols, party advertising.” “Any trips on such vehicles in the region will amount to demonstration,” suggested he.

In turn, Dmitry Gudkov, formally a member of the faction “Fair Russia”, claimed that in the case of the adoption of this law can be unlawful harassment by the authorities of the participants of the wedding processions and funeral processions.

Previously a member of the faction “Fair Russia”, the head of the Duma Committee on science Valery Chereshnev told reporters that a just Russia is categorically against adoption of this bill. “We believe that restrictive measures should not be much. We need a dialogue. We will vote against it,” he said.

Against the bill were made by the liberal democratic party. “Political parties will intensify their activities on the eve of elections to the state Duma. This act in order to muzzle the opposition and to block our activities,” said the liberal Democrat Alexander shereen.