Dmitry Medvedev vetoes fresh public meeting restrictions

Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has vetoed the federal law placing new restrictions on public rallies.

­The law, proposed by the State Duma, was aimed at amending current norms on the organization of meetings and demonstrations.

In one instance, it suggested that rallies on transport should be considered a form of public actions to be agreed with authorities. It also stipulated that meeting organizers should notify the authorities three working days before a rally and, in the case of approaching weekends, four days before a planned event. At present the norm is three calendar days.

It also ruled that among rally organizers there cannot be persons under administrative punishment for breaking the existing law on meetings.

In his letter to the chairman of the Federation Council Sergey Mironov, Russian president said that the proposed law contains provisions that complicate free realization of the citizens’ rights for public gatherings.

”The goal of the public events” is, Medvedev said, “a free expression and formation of opinions and also pushing demands on different issues in political, economical, social and cultural life of the country, as well as the matters of foreign policy.”

According to editor-in-chief of “Slovo” newspaper Victor Linnik, the president has acted in the best possible way.

”The president, as a guarantor of the constitution, had to act appropriately in the sense that to defend the constitutional rights of the Russian population, and that it what he did,” said Linnik. “I think that it is a very wise move on his part.”