Russia: Authorities must allow peaceful protests ahead of Putin inauguration

The Russian authorities must end violent crackdown on opposition protests scheduled for Saturday ahead of the fourth inauguration of Vladimir Putin as the President of the Russian Federation, Amnesty International said.
Authorities in Moscow and more than 30 other cities across Russia have refused to permit demonstrations by supporters of opposition leader Aleksei Navalny planned for 5 May, two days before the inauguration.
“The Russian authorities must learn from their past mistakes, when the repeated refusal to grant permission to hold protest rallies has been a patent violation of human rights,” said Denis Krivosheev, Deputy Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at Amnesty International.
“Similarly, the subsequent violent crackdowns by the police on peaceful demonstrations over the past year – in which hundreds of people have been arbitrarily detained – have shown the persistent failure by the authorities to respect and protect the rights to peaceful assembly and personal liberty.
“Rather than brutally stamping out dissent, the Russian government should respect the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. Thousands are expected to take to the streets in Moscow and other Russian cities on Saturday, and it is their right to protest.”
Despite government attempts to block tomorrow’s protests, Navalny has called on his supporters to take to streets under the slogan, “He’s not our tsar.”
This would be the fifth mass protest organized by Navalny and his supporters across dozens of cities and towns over the past 18 months. The previous events resulted in mass detentions of peaceful protesters.
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