The Syktyvkar City Court fined local activist Alyona Zezegova for a total of 20 thousand rubles for holding one-person pickets against the amendments to the Constitution of Russia in July. She told 7x7 about it.
Judge Irina Misharina found her guilty of violating the procedure for holding a public event (Part 5 of Article 20.2 of the Administrative Code) within two court hearings. The activist added that she was going to have a trial under the third administrative protocol soon.
“I was hoping that the court would make a sound decision, close the case, and demand that the city administration reverse the decision banning actions in Stefanovskaya Square. But it worked out the other way. I was found guilty twice, repeatedly. If the police and the court were hoping that I would express my point of view less often after these fines, this is not the case. These solutions demonstrate that something is wrong with the system. People should not be fined for 10 thousand rubles for picketing,” Zezegova said, adding that she is planning to appeal the court's decisions.
After a marathon vote on the amendments to the Constitution, several activists walked out in protest against its results to Stefanovskaya Square in Syktyvkar daily. The police drew up three protocols on violating the procedure for holding a public event (Part 5 of Article 20.2 of the Administrative Code) against Alyona Zezegova and Nina Popugaeva who had taken part in the action. Popugaeva’s trial is scheduled for October. Ernest Mezak, the lawyer of the Public Verdict Foundation, represents both activists before the court.
The protocols (are at 7x7’s disposal) indicate that the activists held the picket on the territory adjacent to the buildings of the Constitutional and Commercial Courts of the Komi Republic, thus having violated the corresponding ban on actions near the courts, established by the federal law on rallies and the corresponding decree of the Head of Syktyvkar.
The Town Hall has banned actions in Stefanovskaya Square since 2011 due to the adjacent of the State Council and the Constitutional Court of the Republic to it. In November 2019, the Constitutional Court of Russia demanded that regional bans on rallies at the authorities’ buildings be lifted. But at the beginning of 2020, the Republican Commercial Court moved to the Central Post Office’s building in Stefanovskaya Square, and most of the square fell under the ban on public actions under federal regulations.
Voting on the amendments to the Constitution was held in Russia from June 25 to July 1. There was a clause among the amendments that zeroed out President Vladimir Putin's previous terms and allowed him to run for two more terms. According to the CEC, 77.92% of voters voted for the amendments, and 21.27% voted against them. The final turnout was 65%.