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European Court Fines Russia for Denying Activists Licence to Protest

Denis Abramov / Vedomosti

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ordered Russia to pay protesters 183,550 euros ($196,000) after refusing to give them the licence they needed to hold a demonstration.

Alexander Lashmankin petitioned the court with several other activists after they were denied a permit to hold a public rally in the Russian city of Samara in 2009. The protest had been in honor of human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Barburova, both of whom had been assassinated earlier that year in the streets of central Moscow.

The court ruled that the decision violated protesters’ right to freedom of assembly.

The activists were also denied permits to hold several other rallies aiming to “end political repression” and to release demonstrators held for taking part in Moscow’s Bolotnaya protests.

The ECHR decision can still be overturned by Russia’s Constitutional Court, which has the power to declare rulings as void if a judge believes it violates the country’s constitution.

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