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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Moscow Court Upholds Ban on Tverskaya March

A Moscow district court on Wednesday upheld City Hall's ban of an opposition march on Tverskaya Ulitsa last December.

Denis Bilunov, the organizer of the Dec. 16 Dissenters' March, accused the court of bowing to pressure from City Hall and vowed to appeal to the Moscow City Court.

City Hall banned the march over concerns about traffic disruptions.

Anatoly Shilyakov, a City Hall safety official, told the Tverskoi District Court that march organizers had been offered an alternative route after their application to demonstrate on Tverskaya Ulitsa was rejected, Bilunov said.

"That is a lie," Bilunov said. "There was no such offer."

Shilyakov said the offer had been verbal, as opposed to written, Bilunov said.

"When he said that, we asked the judge to accept testimony from witnesses who know that never happened," Bilunov said.

The judge refused and seconds later rejected the lawsuit, he said.

Shilyakov and other City Hall officials could not be reached for comment.

Bilunov, who organized the march on behalf of The Other Russia movement, filed a lawsuit against the city administration Dec. 13, claiming unfair treatment.

The march went ahead despite the ban. Some 2,500 people descended on Triumfalnaya Ploshchad only to be overwhelmed by 8,500 OMON riot police.

The Other Russia has planned many more marches. An April 14 march, also slated for Tverskaya Ulitsa, was rejected this week by City Hall, which said that a pro-Kremlin youth organization had filed an application two minutes earlier for the same time and place.