Released 0600 GMT, 5 May 2014
The Russian authorities are doing all they can to scupper any protests to mark the second anniversary of the Bolotnaya Square demonstration on 6 May 2012, said Amnesty International.
In the last two weeks independent media have been targeted and websites blocked. Moscow’s authorities have refused to authorize a public event on or anywhere near Bolotnaya Square to commemorate the demonstration, where hundreds of peaceful protesters were arrested and scores injured.
“The Russian authorities are suffocating the right to freedom of expression and crushing freedom of assembly. The uncompromising reaction to the recent spate of peaceful demonstrations in Moscow has exposed just how difficult and dangerous it has become to organize and participate in protests,” said John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Programme Director at Amnesty International.