Murmansk Bike Ride Canceled Due to Protest Law

The event, which was supposed to take place on Sunday, attracted about 100 participants last year.

Organizers canceled a yearly cycle ride in Murmansk over the weekend after police said the event needed prior permission in line with recently passed protest legislation toughening rules for mass gatherings.

The event, which was supposed to take place on Sunday, attracted about 100 participants last year. This year, cyclists were meant to move in columns of 10 through the city center, organizer Vladimir Marchenko told Interfax.

But on the eve of the bike ride, law enforcement officers contacted Marchenko and reminded him of the increased penalties for violating the law "On gatherings, rallies, demonstrations, marches and pickets."

On June 8, President Vladimir Putin signed into law legislation raising fines for attending an unsanctioned protest or breaking the law at a sanctioned one to 300,000 rubles ($9,200) for participants and 1 million rubles ($30,700) for organizers.

Marchenko canceled the ride on Friday, according to Interfax, although the Murmansk administration was still advertising the event on its site as late as Sunday.

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