The Syktyvkar City Court fined activist Nina Popugaeva, who has held a one-person picket against the amendments to the Constitution of Russia in Stefanovskaya Square in July this year, for five thousand roubles. She told 7x7 about this.
Judge Alexander Lekontsev found Nina Popugaeva guilty of violating the procedure for holding a picket (Part 5 of Article 20.2 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation). Activist Alyona Zezegova had been fined twice for a total of 20 thousand rubles for holding a similar picket in Stefanovskaya Square. Ernest Mezak, the lawyer of the Public Verdict Foundation, represented both young women before the court. He intends for appealing the court's decision.
— All my actions are spontaneous, so it is hard to say for sure whether I will ever hold a picket again. But the probability is 90%. They will stop fining for pickets in Stefanovskaya Square when they understand that municipal ordinances should not be superior to regional and even more so to federal laws, — Popugaeva explained.
Several activists walked out in protest against the amendments to the Constitution to Stefanovskaya Square in Syktyvkar daily after a marathon vote on them. The police drew up three protocols on violating the procedure for holding a public event against Alyona Zezegova and Nina Popugaeva.
The protocols (are at 7x7’s disposal) indicate that the activists held the picket on the territory adjacent to the buildings of the Constitutional and Commercial Courts of the Komi Republic, thus having violated the ban on actions near the courts, established by the federal law on rallies and the decree of the Head of Syktyvkar.
The Town Hall has banned actions in Stefanovskaya Square since 2011 due to the adjacent of the State Council and the Constitutional Court of the Republic to it. In November 2019, the Constitutional Court of Russia demanded that bans on rallies at the authorities’ buildings be lifted. But at the beginning of 2020, the Republican Commercial Court moved to the Central Post Office’s building in Stefanovskaya Square, and most of the square fell under the ban on public actions under federal regulations.
Voting on the amendments to the Constitution was held in Russia from June 25 to July 1. There was a clause among the amendments that zeroed out President Vladimir Putin's previous terms and allowed him to run for two more terms. According to the CEC, 77.92% of voters voted for the amendments, and 21.27% voted against them. The final turnout was 65%.
Dmitry Stepanovsky, «7х7»