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Moscow Authorities Deny Permission For Opposition Gathering

Russian riot police arrest Lyudmila Alekseyeva at a Moscow rally on December 31.
MOSCOW -- Moscow authorities have turned down an application by opposition and rights groups for permission to hold a public gathering on March 31 in Moscow's central Triumfalnaya (Triumph) Square, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The application to hold the gathering to support the constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of assembly was signed by Moscow Helsinki Group Chairwoman Lyudmila Alekseyeva; Eduard Limonov, one of the leaders of the Other Russia opposition coalition; and Left Front movement activist Konstantin Kosyakin.

Opposition groups in Russia have been trying to hold similar meetings on the last day of every month that has 31 days. The date is an allusion to Article 31 of the Russian Federation Constitution, which guarantees freedom of assembly.