Speaking at a celebration of the 296th anniversary of the founding of Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office, Prosecutor General Yury Chaika said that one of primary tasks of the Prosecutor General’s Office this year will be to prevent unsanctioned protests during the presidential elections, RBC news agency reports.
“In the coming year, a new task stands before the departments of the Prosecutor General’s Office: ensuring lawfulness during the electoral campaign for the president of the Russian Federation. Prevention by the supervisory bodies of social tension, uncoordinated public protests and other violations that threaten stability and security,” Chaika stated.
First Deputy Chair of the Federation Council Nikolay Fyodorov called on Chaika to cooperate more actively with the commission of the upper house during the electoral campaign, in order to prevent interference with Russia’s internal affairs. “We are counting on the fact that the Prosecutor General’s Office will continue to cooperate closely with it [the commission] and react promptly to its materials,” the senator remarked.
Last year the Prosecutor General’s Office repeatedly warned the opposition ahead of the protests it announced. For example, on the eve of June 12, the Prosecutor General’s Office warned Aleksei Navalny’s supporters of the unlawfulness of the public protests on Russia Day on Tverskaya Street. As a result of the anti-corruption protest, more than 850 people were detained in the center of Moscow.
At the start of December last year, President Vladimir Putin instructed the Prosecutor General’s Office to analyze the application practice of the legislation ensuring citizens’ rights to hold rallies and demonstrations, processions and to picket. The instruction was given by the head of state at the end of the session of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, where he commented on the need to guarantee freedom of assembly. However, Putin said that it is wrong to “deliberately interfere with the normal vital activity of the major metropolises”.