Russian Constitutional Court rules police must protect one-person protesters
ST. PETERSBURG, March 21 (RAPSI, Mikhail Telekhov) – The Constitutional Court of Russia has ruled that police officers must protect one-person protestors at the sites the protests take place instead of bringing them to the stations, the court’s ruling reads on Tuesday.
This ruling was issued by the court after reviewing a part of the federal law “On Police” in relation to an appeal filed by a Belgorod resident Vladimir Sergiyenko. The case was heard behind closed doors.
According to case documents, the activist from Belgorod has been arrested by police officers twenty-five minutes after beginning his one-person protest. He was brought to a police station and released an hour later. The courts, which reviewed this case, ruled that officers were acting in accordance with Russian legislation. Rulings read that the life of the protestor was in danger from citizens who disagreed with him and that police officers brought him to the station for his own safety.
The protestor, on the contrary, insisted that his rights were violated.
The Constitutional Court’s ruling says that the current legal regulation provides "sufficient legal conditions" for one-person protests to be carried out with almost no restrictions. According to the court, the police must uphold order and protect one-person protestors against possible threats; however, its actions must be proportionate to the nature and degree of danger. A threat to the life and health of a one-person protestor should be real, not presumed, the Constitutional Court explained.
In the light of the Court’s ruling, the decisions in Sergiyenko’s case should be reexamined.