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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Strasbourg court to consider Russian opposition claim against Moscow govt

RIA Novosti

14:11 31/08/2010 MOSCOW, August 31 (RIA Novosti) - The European Court of Human Rights has begun looking into a claim made by three Russian activists on violations made by the Moscow authorities on the right to freedom of assembly, lawyer Dmitry Agranovsky said on Tuesday.

The claim was filed by Chairwoman of the Moscow Helsinki human rights group Lyudmila Alexeyeva, Other Russia opposition party leader Eduard Limonov, and Left Front opposition movement member Konstantin Kosyakin.

"The court is now deciding whether our claim will be considered on a priority basis," Agranovsky said.

The complainants want the court to fine the Moscow authorities 100,000 euros ($127,000) for violating articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, guaranteeing the rights of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

Russian opposition groups hold Marches of Dissent on the last day of each 31-day-month in defense of their right to freedom of assembly, as enshrined in Article 31 of the Russian Constitution.

The Moscow city authorities have regularly turned down requests from Russian opposition groups to stage the rallies and recently announced plans to close the opposition's main protest site, Triumfalnaya Square, to build an underground car park.

Several unsanctioned rallies on the square have already resulted in clashes with police and the arrests of many opposition members.

Alexeyeva earlier said the opposition would gather on Tuesday on Triumfalnaya Square but would not stage a protest.

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