Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Moscow Groups File Complaint With EU Court of Human Rights

On the 24th of August, and only now being widely reported, Russian groups brought a complaint forward to the European Court of Human Rights, alleging that their right to freedom of assembly (a right guaranteed by the European Charter article 11) has been violated. The complaint was filed in response to Russian authorities denying demonstrators the right to assemble over demanding a prefects resignation for anti-LGBT policies.

According to the Moscow News

He banned demonstrations demanding his resignation and he closed their favourite club. Now Moscow gay priders are taking northern area prefect Oleg Mitvol to the European Court of Human Rights in a bid to halt a wave of homophobic feeling in its tracks.
“The organizers of Moscow Gay Pride filed a complaint against Northern Prefect Oleg Mitvol in the European Court of Human Rights on Monday, for blocking two pickets demanding his resignation,” LGBT rights activist, lawyer and journalist Nikolai Alexeyev said. 
Mitvol’s move against the pickets was “a clear violation of article 11, of freedom of assembly for everyone, and the European court is very strict on these issues,” Alexeyev told The Moscow News. The activists suggested a variety of different locations, which the authorities were obliged to offer them anyway and yet did everything they could to block the demonstrations, he said.
“We even have material which they distributed themselves and it is absolutely clear that it was an action…to block our protest,” he added. “We have enough proof and enough evidence, based on [precedent] and jurisprudence.”
There has only been one test case of this kind in Strasbourg, over the banned gay pride march in Warsaw. A unanimous decision found in 2007 that the 2005 ban violated freedom of assembly.
If the Court in Strasbourg affirms this complaint by the Russian activists, this could have many repercussions in Russia, especially with gay pride parades in that nation. As many of my readers know, authorities in many Russian cities (Moscow in this article) would not allow Gay Pride parades in the nation this past year, in a flagrant violation of the right of assembly.

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