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Court ruled illegal the ban on video recording in the Duma of Kostroma

Сivic activists are now going to recover the reimbursement of costs and compensation for moral damages from the officials

Kostroma Regional Court ruled the actions of a local official Yelena Sharapova illegal; she banned civil society activists to shoot video of a public meeting of the Kostroma Duma, said in the court's decision.

 

 

The reason for the lawsuit was the incident that occurred at a meeting of a Kostroma city council on December 4, 2014. Four civic activists — Boris Alexeyev, Victor Epifanov, Odislav Turansky and Liana Mamaeva — came to an open meeting of a city council, which among other things discussed a resonant issue of building of Shagovsky pond. At a time when a member of the Alternative Public Chamber of Kostroma Odislav Turansky was shooting speech of a civil activist Natalia Tsvetkova, the chief of the legal department of the City Duma Elena Sharapova came closer and demanded to stop shooting, saying that "it can be made only by accredited persons", and then began to press hand to the camera, lowering it down, whereby the operator had to stop filming.

After that, representatives of the Alternative Public Chamber of Kostroma went to court, demanding to recognize the official's actions illegal. But the judge of Sverdlovsk district court Olga Scryabina denied the plaintiffs claims. After that, the applicants appealed against the decision in the Kostroma Regional Court, which overturned the decision of the Court of First Instance found the actions of municipal employee Sharapova for obstruction of video illegal.

 

 

In the decision, the court stated that "the video is essentially a way to fix what is happening at a meeting of City Council of Kostroma, ensuring openness and transparency of activities of the local government". The Court added that the deputies and other people presented at the open session "agree that their image would be sealed by a photo or video, if any will be made".

“We are satisfied with the court decision by three-quarters as the court declared the official's actions illegal only to Odislav Turansky, who was filming. However, we find violated the rights of those citizens who were planning to take advantage of the video shooting — particularly for writing articles,” lawyer Victor Epifanov said to the online journal "7x7".

As his colleague in the Alternative Public Chamber Odislav Turansky added, in the near future activists intend to appeal to the court to recover legal costs and compensation for moral damages from the City Duma and official who prevented illegal acts.

In contrast to the meeting of the Kostroma Regional Duma passing openly and broadcast on the Internet, Kostroma City Council differs a great stealth and no live broadcasts.

 

 

The court decision came into force.

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