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Russian Opposition To Hold Rally In St. Petersburg


http://gdb.rferl.org/D98D0264-B990-4BEB-BEBF-EE43B08225C9_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/D98D0264-B990-4BEB-BEBF-EE43B08225C9_mw800_mh600.jpg Previous March of Dissent events have seen a heavy police presence (RFE/RL) June 8, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- The opposition group Other Russia is due to hold a March of Dissent demonstration in St. Petersburg on June 9 to coincide with an international economic forum in the city.

Opposition leader Garry Kasparov says local officials have approved the rally.

Kasparov says that despite the approval he is concerned about possible "provocations" from police and pro-Kremlin youth groups.

Speaking to RFE/RL on the sidelines of a
conference in Prague this week, Kasparov said
he believes that mounting Western criticism led to the authorities
approving the demonstration.

"They accepted the rally, they
negotiated with us, they gave us the alternative route and it is in the
center. But we don't know what kind of measures they will take to
prevent us from having a successful rally," Kasparov said.

Kasparov pledged that the rally's organizers would do everything in their power to keep the demonstration peaceful.

In April, police violently broke up an opposition rally in St. Petersburg.
Russia's NGO Law

Russian environmental activists demonstrate in February 2006 against a proposed oil pipeline that they believe would have harmed Lake Baikal (TASS)

CLAMPING DOWN ON ACTIVISM. The authors of a report on Russia's controversial law on nongovernmental organizations issued by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom told an RFE/RL briefing in Washington that the law places "disturbing" restrictions on NGOs.


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