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Cablegate: Osce/Permanent Council: Statement On Russia

VZCZCXRO8515
PP RUEHAST RUEHFL RUEHLA RUEHMRE RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR
DE RUEHC #1994 3521406
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P R 171359Z DEC 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE PRIORITY 6691
INFO ORG FOR SECURITY CO OP IN EUR COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS STATE 131994

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM KDEM RS OSCE
SUBJECT: OSCE/PERMANENT COUNCIL: STATEMENT ON RUSSIA

1. Post is authorized to present the following statement at
the Permanent Council in Vienna on December 18.

Begin text:
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
On December 14, Police in Moscow and St. Petersburg detained
over 200 peaceful protestors at demonstrations, for which
permission was not granted, led by opposition groups
including Other Russia and the Union of Soviet Officers in
Moscow.
The difficulties faced by protest organizers, at the hands of
authorities, in their attempts to receive permits as well as
the harsh methods used to detain protestors raise serious
concerns about the willingness of the Russian government to
respect the exercise of freedoms of assembly and expression.

Peaceful protests, marches, and demonstrations are a
cornerstone to the development and functioning of a
democratic society. We continue to urge the Russian
government to respect its OSCE commitments for freedom of
assembly and expression.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
End text.
RICE

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