Alexeyeva Defiant In Wake of Moscow’s Broken Promises

Lyudmila Alexeyeva. Source: Inoforum.ruRegardless of the fact that Moscow city authorities violated the agreement they had reached with organizers of last week’s rally in defense of free assembly, organizer Lyudmila Alexeyeva intends to continue obtaining permission from the city before holding similar events, as required by law. This according to Alexeyeva herself at a press conference on January 6 in response to the detention of opposition leaders Boris Nemtsov, Ilya Yashin, Konstantin Kosyakin, and Eduard Limonov on the day of the rally.

“I am a human rights advocate, not a politician. We are not overthrowing the government, but working with it. If Putin is going to be in power – I’m going to make arrangements with Putin,” said Alexeyeva.

She would be glad, however, if the official who promised her that order and safety would be provided for rally participants – Valery Kadatsky – was fired.

“If the authorities do not act in accordance with the law, then they should be punished,” she said. “But we are going to act in accordance with the law.”

Alexeyeva explained that she and fellow rights advocates plan to achieve justice by appealing to the human rights ombudsmen for Russia and Moscow, the Public Chamber, the Public Council on the Moscow City Police, and the office of the prosecutor general. “We have representatives in every one of these agencies. We are going to pestiferously and methodically appeal to the court on each occasion” she said.

Two rallies in defense of free assembly under the opposition’s ongoing Strategy 31 campaign were held concurrently on Moscow’s Triumfalnaya Square on December 31. One, organized by Alexeyeva, was sanctioned by government authorities. The second, whose organizers were Other Russia party leader Eduard Limonov, Left Front coordinator Konstantin Kosyakin, and Solidarity member Vladimir Bukovsky, was not. Despite the peaceful nature of both rallies, about 70 people were detained in total, and several prominent opposition leaders received jail sentences ranging from 5 to 15 days. All plan to appeal on the basis that the charges against them were fabricated and unlawful.