A prominent Russian journalist had been released from custody in Moscow on Sunday after being detained for filming a one-man picket.
Ilya Azar, a Moscow legislator, and journalist for the individual Novaya Gazeta newspaper was sentenced to 15 days a week to get staging his only demonstration over the jailing of activist Vladimir Vorontsov. His picket happened during Russia’s coronavirus lockdown.
Such activities do not ordinarily need preliminary consent from the government.
“Solo picketing is an authorized and agreed action and we must maintain picketing,” clarified Azar on his launch. “But we also need to remember the conclusion of the Moscow City Court, which ruled a solo protest needs to be agreed with Moscow officials. It is a bizarre choice. Let us see, we’ve got a hearing on Monday to analyze this legislation, possibly this decision won’t stand. In my mind, this is an entirely absurd choice.”
Azar’s arrest resulted in comparable single-person protests from some other journalists and opposition activists in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Dozens of these were detained under precisely the same legislation.
Azar insists that the Russian Constitution provides the right for citizens to maintain one-person pickets with no authorization.