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  2. The Supreme Court of Karelia declared officials’ decision to relocate the picket in memory of Boris Nemtsov to the city outskirts illegal

The Supreme Court of Karelia declared officials’ decision to relocate the picket in memory of Boris Nemtsov to the city outskirts illegal

Alexander Gnetnev
Emilia Slabunova and Dmitry Rybakov
Photo from Emilia Slabunova’s page on vk.com
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On June 15, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Karelia declared the decision of the Petrozavodsk Administration, which suggested the organizers of the winter picket in memory of politician Boris Nemtsov to relocate the event to the city outskirts, illegal. Emilia Slabunova, the deputy of the Legislative Assembly of Karelia from the Yabloko Party,  told 7x7 about this.

Representatives of the Yabloko Party planned to hold a rally in memory of Nemtsov, but the authorities did not coordinate it. The organizers decided then to gather people for a picket on Studencheskiy Boulevard on February 28. The event expected 300 people. Dmitry Rybakov, a member of the Yabloko Party, was the organizer. However, the administration of Petrozavodsk did not coordinate the picket in the city center and suggested relocating it to Botanicheskaya Street on the outskirts.

"It was snowing up on February 28, the place was 10 kilometers from the city center, which was obviously inconvenient, especially in such a snowy, frosty time. Who was supposed to get there? Of course, we refused to hold a picket in that place," Emilia Slabunova told 7x7.

The nearest public transport stop is located 1.5 km from the venue of the rally in Botanicheskaya Street. In addition, the area where the officials sent the participants of the action is not included in the list of territories subject to snow-clearing.

According to Slabunova, the officials refused to coordinate a picket in the center of Petrozavodsk, because they were allegedly going to repair the lightning there. However, the activists checked this information and found out that the administration had not carried out any works there.

Отсутствие спецтехники на месте проведения пикета

No works on replacing the lighting being held on the Studencheskiy Boulevard, where the Mayor's office banned the picket. Screenshot from the Citilink Company’s security camera

“It was said that there would be works on replacing the lighting near the ‘Molecula’ [a monument] on the Studencheskiy Boulevard. We recorded and copied all the readings of the Citylink’s cameras on Studencheskiy Boulevard in the night of 27–28 [February]. The records show the lights working properly. There is not a single broken lamp,” said Slabunova. She stressed that there had been neither equipment nor workers on the site.

The rally organizers appealed to the Petrozavodsk City Court, where they tried to prove the illegality of relocating their action from the center to the outskirts, but lost the case. After that, they filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Karelia. It declared the suggestion of the Mayor's office to change the venue of the rally illegal.

Politician Boris Nemtsov was killed in Moscow in the night of February 27–28, 2015. In 2021, on the sixth anniversary of the politician’s assassination, commemorative events were held in several Russian cities and towns. The authorities did not coordinate most rallies and marches, referring to coronavirus restrictions. Therefore, the activists mostly went with laying flowers and one-person pickets.


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