The Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, Marcus Löning, issued the following statement today (1 September) on the violent breaking up by police of a peaceful demonstration in Moscow yesterday:
“Article 31 of the Russian constitution guarantees the citizens of the Russian Federation the right to freedom of assembly, and those who took part in yesterday’s demonstration were fully justified in invoking this right.
The violent breaking up of the rally is all the more serious when freedom of the press and opinion and the right to peaceful assembly are the very foundations upon which a state governed by the rule of law is built. It is high time President Medvedev backed up his words with deeds by asserting the rule of law in practice in Russia.”
In a demonstration in Moscow yesterday (Tuesday, 31 August), dozens of anti-government demonstrators were arrested, including the opposition politician and former deputy head of government Boris Nemtsov.