Oppositionist Limonov challenges constitutionality of protest-stifling law
MOSCOW, October 9 - RAPSI. Opposition activist Eduard Limonov filed an application with the Constitutional Court on Monday to have a law aimed at stifling protests declared unconstitutional, Alexander Averin, a member of Limonov-headed opposition party The Other Russia, told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/rapsinews.com) Tuesday.
On June 5, the State Duma passed a bill increasing fines for violating rally procedures and the Federation Council approved it the following day.
The bill was then signed into law by President Vladimir Putin.
The law has increased the fines by 10 times, stipulated compulsory community service for violators and prohibited the wearing of masks during protests. The maximum fine has risen to 300,000 rubles ($9,200) for individuals and 600,000 rubles ($18,400) for public officials.
The law also cracks down on unauthorized rallies by prohibiting any mass events organized under the guise of public gatherings, or so-called "people's promenades," should they cause public unrest.
Averin said that Limonov is challenging the provision which states that rallies, processions and picketing may only be organized by individuals with no outstanding convictions for crimes against constitutional order, or against state or public security. Individuals who have been punished under administrative procedures are also barred from holding these types of events.
"Limonov maintains that the law runs counter to the Constitution and curtails the right to peaceful meetings, rallies, processions and pickets," Averin said.