MOSCOW, June 23, 2008 – (GayRussia.ru) – Organisers of
Moscow Gay Pride today applied to the city’s Tverskoi District Court
accusing Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev of “inaction on their letter”
concerning the staging of the march for tolerance – and respect for the
rights of freedoms of homosexual people in Russia – in Alexandrovskiy Sad,
part of the Kremlin.
Planned for Saturday May 31, the event was set for up to
200 people between 1 and 2 p.m.
The letter to the Russian President was handed to his
administration on May 16. Five days later, the letter was forwarded to the
Prefecture of the Central Administrative Area of Moscow.
Presidential Administration relied on the provision of
the law which allows them to forward the letter to the competent authority.
In their complaint to Tverskoi District Court, organisers
of Moscow Pride insist that the questions raised in the letter to the
President concerning the conduct of the public event in Alexandrovskiy Sad
are the jurisdiction of the President.
This, they claim, is clearly written in Article 8 of the
Federal Law on assemblies, meetings, demonstrations, marches and pickets.
According to the law on consideration of citizens’
letters, Moscow Pride organisers had the right to receive a motivated reply
from the Russian President on the issues raised in their letter. The reply
was supposed to be given within a 30-day period.
The applicants asked Tverskoi District Court to judge
that inaction of the President was unlawful and oblige the head of state to
give a motivated reply to the letter of the Pride organisers in accordance
with his competence.
Nikolai Alekseev, the principal organiser of Moscow
Pride, said this afternoon that “representatives of the Russian authorities
talk a lot about the necessity to follow the law and at the same time they
did not learn how to do it themselves.
“They demand it from their citizens. The President quite
possibly did not know anything about our letter to him though we, as
applicants, are not obliged to understand how bureaucratic procedures of
Kremlin administration work,” he continued.
“Our letter was addressed to the President and that is
the reason why we apply to court against the President.”
Mr. Alekseev suggested that “Presidential Administration
officials probably again wanted to put all responsibility on Moscow
authorities; but in this case representatives of the Prefecture acted in
accordance with their powers and sent the letter back to the Administration.
“Only the President has powers to allow the events in
Alexandrovskiy Sad,” he pointed out.
He underlined that “we applied to the President Dmitriy
Medvedev as a safeguard of the Constitution because Moscow authorities
unlawfully denied us our constitutional right to freedom of assembly
enshrined in Article 31 of the Constitution”.
“It’s a pity that the President, even though he
proclaimed that he would fight for human rights, did not interfere and put
an end to the unlawful actions of Moscow officials.”
The third Moscow Pride took place in Moscow on Sunday
June 1. Gay activists picketed the monument to the Russian composer Petr
Tchaikovskiy and then displayed a huge banner from one of the flats on
Tverskaya Street in front of Moscow City Hall.
The banner read: “Rights to gays and lesbians! Homophobia
of Moscow Mayor should be prosecuted”.
■ Last week, Tverskoi District Court of Moscow ruled that
the ban of one of the earlier scheduled Pride marches, planned for May 1 was
lawful. The organisers plan to appeal the decision in Moscow City Court and
then, if overruled by the higher court, in the European Court of Human
Rights in Strasbourg.
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Licence.
Posted: 23 June 2008 at
13:00 (UK time)