Opposition activist Limonov and MPs to jointly contest anti-protest law
ST. PETERSBURG, November 2 - RAPSI. On November 27, the Constitutional Court will hear an appeal launched by renowned writer and opposition acrtivist Eduard Limonov urging that the law on rallies should be recognized as repugnant to the Constitution, jointly with the State Duma deputies' inquiry on the law's constitutionality, the court told RIA Novosti.
On June 5, the State Duma passed a bill increasing fines for violating rally procedures and it was approved the following day by the Federation Council.
The bill was then signed into law by President Vladimir Putin.
The law increased fines by up to 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 ($9,520) for individuals and 600,000 rubles ($19,040) 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.
Alexander Averin, a member of Limonov-headed opposition party The Other Russia has 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 for administrative offenses are also barred from holding these types of events.
Members of A Just Russia and the Communist Party Duma factions submitted the inquiry into the law's constitutionality to the Constitutional Court in the middle of July.
The 102 applicants will be represented in court by Gennady Gudkov, Yelena Mizulina, A Just Russia, and Vadim Solovyov, Communist Party.
Earlier, the State Duma stripped Gudkov of his seat after the authorities accused him of engaging in business activities in breach of the law on state deputies.