Moscow, September 7, Interfax - The Moscow government has denied authorization to picket the Myanmar embassy on Bolshaya Nikitskaya Street, event organizer Arslan Khasavov told Interfax. The event, which was expected to see up to 200 participants, was going to be held on Friday between 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
"The authorities have denied authorization to picket due to irregularities in the application. The application allegedly did not state the purpose of the picket, although it was clearly stated there," he said.
Additionally, the place in question does not have a site for organizing a picket with 200 participants, and holding the event on a narrow sidewalk would create obstacles to pedestrians and limit Muscovites' access to public establishments and infrastructure, the response said.
The presence of a driveway would create a threat to the safety of picket participants and pedestrians, it said.
"Of course, the irregularities listed seem far-fetched to me, because earlier on, 800 people participated in an unauthorized rally near the embassy without incident. What's more, I was surprised by the fact that the authorities did not give us an alternative place to hold a picket, to which we are entitled by law," Khasavov said.
Despite the authorities' refusal, he said he hopes to resume dialogue. "If dialogue does not resume, and if the authorities do not give us an alternative place, I will go to the embassy on September 8 to hold a one-man picket, for which no authorization is required," he said.