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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Majority of Moscow activists accept government terms for rally

RIA Novosti

15:36 26/10/2010 MOSCOW, October 26 (RIA Novosti) - The majority of Moscow's rights activists have accepted the conditions set by the Moscow city government to hold a rally on central Triumfalnaya Square on October 31, leading activist Lyudmila Alexeyeva said on Tuesday.

"We are ready to hold the meeting under these terms," Alexeyeva said. "It is an achievement that we have been able to accept the terms of the authorities, and I hope the meeting will run peacefully."

Protestors attempt to hold rallies on the square on the last day of every month that has 31 days, in honor of Article 31 of the Russian Constitution, which guarantees freedom of assembly.

Requests to sanction the rallies were invariably turned down by former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov, who was recently sacked. New Mayor Sergey Sobyanin sanctioned this month's rally last week, but initially only gave permission for 200 activists to take part, instead of the requested 1,500.

Alexeyeva said on Monday that the Moscow city government had agreed to raise the number of participants to 800, with 200 journalists, following complaints from opposition leaders.

Two key opposition figures, Eduard Limonov and Konstantin Kosyakin, have not submitted to the terms and are still insisting that the requested number of 1,500 should be allowed to gather on the square.

"They [Limonov and Kosyakin] have sent a letter to the city council, in which they rejected the authorities' offer," Alexeyeva said

The protest is being organized by the rights organizations Moscow Helsinki Group, Memorial and the For Human Rights movement.

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