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Russian Opposition Activists Ask Kremlin For Help

Human rights activist Lyudmila Alekseyeva (left) and Eduard Limonov at a press conference in Moscow in January.
Russian opposition leaders and human rights activists have called on President Dmitry Medvedev's chief of staff to intervene in their efforts to have their rallies approved by the authorities, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

A petition signed by Moscow Helsinki Group Chairwoman Lyudmila Alekseyeva, Other Russia opposition coalition co-leader Eduard Limonov, and Left Front movement representative Konstantin Kosyakino was sent on May 24 to presidential chief of staff Sergei Naryshkin.

The petition urges Naryshkin to help the activist group gain official approval for their mass gatherings held on the 31st day of those months with that number of days.

The activists have been trying for several months to hold such rallies in a symbolic reference to Article 31 of the Russian Constitution, which guarantees citizens the freedom of assembly.

But Moscow authorities have consistently refused to give permission for the opposition gatherings, with police violently dispersing the rallies claiming they are being held without official approval.