The organizers of the rally in support of freedom of the press and the media, “foreign agents”, filed lawsuits against the Moscow mayor’s office because of the refusal to coordinate their event. About it writes RBC with reference to Sofia Rusova, co-chairman of the Trade Union of Journalists and Media Workers.
On August 23, the union applied for a September 4 rally on Nikitsky Boulevard and Pushkin Square. The event, according to the organizers, will be attended by up to 500 people. Metropolitan authorities refused in the conduct of the action, citing restrictions due to COVID-19 (we are talking about ban mass public events).
The trade union of journalists intends to challenge the refusal to agree on the rally, and decree Mayor Sobyanin dated June 8, 2020, Rusova pointed out. “I don’t know if anyone challenged the decree itself, but I think we have judicial prospects in this direction. <...> We believe that there were no grounds for banning our public event, ”she said.
In total, the organizers filed three lawsuits against the mayor’s office – in the Tverskoy, Tagansky and Presnensky courts. The mayor’s decree is not a federal law, but only with its help it is possible to limit the rights of citizens to freedom of assembly, guaranteed by the Constitution, stated RBC lawyer Rusova Nikita Spivak.
The first pickets in support of the journalists were held on August 21 near the main FSB building in Lubyanka, the day after the Dozhd TV channel and Vazhnye Stories were entered into the register of media “foreign agents”. At the time, 12 people were detained at the rally. By data “OVD-Info”, eight journalists, two activists and students of Moscow State University were taken to the department. At all, they drew up protocols on violation of the established procedure for holding a protest action (part 5 of article 20.2 of the Administrative Code).
This year, the authorities have stepped up pressure on independent media. In the spring, the Ministry of Justice declared Meduza and VTimes “foreign agents.” In July “Project” became the first media to be recognized as an “undesirable organization”. Total in registry today there are 47 individuals and legal entities, including The Insider, employees of Project, Open Media, Radio Liberty and other journalists. Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov spokethat the inclusion of journalists in the register is “not the equivalent of a ban on work.”