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Russian Opposition Rejects Change Of Demonstration Date

The head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, Lyudmila Alekseyeva, said she rejected the proposal.
Russian human rights activists have rejected the Moscow mayor's proposal to move a meeting planned for December 31 to another day.

The head of Moscow's Helsinki Group, Lyudmila Alekseyeva, said that city officials asked if they would change the date of the Strategy 31 meeting since "the meeting would get in the way of people coming home from stores" on the New Year's holiday.

Alekseyeva said that while she understood the authorities' concerns, she rejected the proposal because people are accustomed to attending the monthly meeting on the 31st of each month with that many days.

In addition, on December 1, the Federation Council approved the new version of the law on meetings, which had been previously approved by several Duma deputies.

The first draft of the law, which forbids people who have been penalized or detained in the past from organizing demonstrations, was rejected by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and that clause was removed.

The new law would grant Russian citizens more freedom to organize mass demonstrations.

compiled from agency reports