Putin bans rallies in Olympic Sochi for 2.5 months - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Putin bans rallies in Olympic Sochi for 2.5 months

Posted: Updated:
Photo Credit: MGNOnline.com Photo Credit: MGNOnline.com

By NATALIYA VASILYEVA
Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree banning demonstrations and rallies for two and a half months in Sochi around the 2014 Winter Olympics.

The Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the official government newspaper, published the presidential decree Friday, listing an array of measures tightening security in the Olympic host city, including the ban on public assemblies. All "gatherings, rallies, demonstrations, marches and pickets" that are not part of the Olympics or the Paralympics will be prohibited in Sochi from Jan. 7 to March 21, the decree said.

The Winter Olympics is taking place in the Black Sea resort from Feb. 7-23 and the Paralympics are being held March 7-16.

Government-imposed protest bans across entire cities where Olympics are held are unusual. Putin's decree could be aimed at heading off demonstrations against Russia's ban on alleged gay propaganda, a new law that has been sharply criticized in the West.

Among other measures in the decree were restrictions on vehicles entering Sochi. Only cars with local license plates, emergency vehicles and those accredited by the Olympic organizers will be allowed to enter the host city between Jan. 7 and March 21.

Rights organizations have earlier voiced concerns about what they described as the "harassment and intimidation of civil society" advocates in Sochi. Human Rights Watch said in a statement that environmental, human rights and other activists have been "the targets of attacks, detention for peaceful protests and police searches."

The International Olympic Committee received a letter Thursday from Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak giving assurances that the host country will comply with the Olympic Charter's provision against discrimination of any kind. The letter, however, defended Russia's new anti-gay law and said it would be enforced.

Gay activist Nikolai Alexeyev told The Associated Press on Friday that he would petition the Supreme Court next week to contest the presidential decree banning rallies in Sochi as "violating our right of freedom of assembly."

Russian authorities have repeatedly denied gay activists' applications to set up a Pride House in Sochi during the Games but Alexeyev said he would apply for permission to hold a gay pride rally in Sochi on the opening day of the Games anyway.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Vernon Parish Police Reports

    Vernon Parish Police Reports

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 11:38 AM EDT2014-04-22 15:38:16 GMT
    Sheriff Sam Craft of the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office announces recent arrests as follows:More >>
    Sheriff Sam Craft of the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office announces recent arrests as follows:More >>
  • River Oaks Art Exhibits

    River Oaks Art Exhibits

    Sunday, April 20 2014 11:05 PM EDT2014-04-21 03:05:23 GMT
    (KALB News Channel 5) - Last weekend we went and checked out some local photography, sculptures, and more. Afterwards, we noticed something going on downtown near the City Hall, so we went and checked that out, too!More >>
    (KALB News Channel 5) - Last weekend we went and checked out some local photography, sculptures, and more. Afterwards, we noticed something going on downtown near the City Hall, so we went and checked that out, too!More >>
  • Mummified remains ID'd, dead man's daughter arrested

    Mummified remains ID'd, dead man's daughter arrested

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:43 AM EDT2014-04-23 14:43:45 GMT
    LEXINGTON, Ky. (CBS News) - Almost four months after a man's mummified remains were found inside a Lexington storage unit, police have arrested the man's daughter for allegedly stealing his Social Security checks, reports CBS affiliate WKYT.More >>
    LEXINGTON, Ky. (CBS News) - Almost four months after a man's mummified remains were found inside a Lexington storage unit, police have arrested the man's daughter for allegedly stealing his Social Security checks, reports CBS affiliate WKYT.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KALB. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.