Russian opposition seeks to hold one-person protest in central Moscow on Oct. 27

The Russian opposition plans to stage a series of one-person protests and a "peaceful walk" from Lubyanka Square to the Investigative Committee headquarters on Oct. 27 in support of arrested opposition activists.

"All these events will take place on Saturday, starting from 3:00 p.m. They will be called "From Lubyanka to Lefortovo. We are against reprisals and torture," journalist Sergei Parkhomenko said on his Facebook page.

A chain of one-person protests (at a distance of some 50 meters from each other) is expected to stretch from the Federal Security Service (FSB) building on Lubyanka Square to the Investigative Committee headquarters in Lefortovo, the journalist said.

"It is approximately 7.5 kilometers. Some 150 people will form this chain. All the others will walk along this sorrowful road peacefully, in silence, with dignity, without any flags and banners," he said.

"The aim of this "walk" is to protect the protest participants from attempts to prevent them from expressing their discontent," Parkhomenko said.

"Those who will stand in this chain of one-person pickets holding banners must not be left face to face the OMON and police. They need to be protected," he said.

Parkhomenko said earlier that the opposition's Coordination Council would not seek the Moscow authorities' permission for its Oct. 27 action because such applications should be submitted 15 days in advance.

"It is too late to seek permission for Oct. 27. It should have been done 15 days ago. That is why we have nothing to say to City Hall and City Hall has nothing to say to us," the journalist told Interfax on Wednesday.

City Hall officials, for their part, advised the opposition against staging any action in the city on Oct. 27 without permission.

"If they refuse to talk to City Hall, they will talk to the Russian Interior Ministry's branch for Moscow. Our rule is the following: they either apply for permission or there will be a conflict," Alexei Morozov, director of Moscow's regional security department, told Interfax on Wednesday.

The Moscow authorities said the organizers of the unsanctioned opposition protest risk conflict with law enforcement officials in charge of public safety.

"I think those who state plans to hold such a protest in the mass media want just that," Alexei Mayorov, the head of the regional security department of the Moscow mayor's office, told Interfax on Friday. "There is no such thing as 'a chain of one-man pickets," Mayorov added.

"We will investigate this situation. We will react appropriately with regard for the situation in real time. One-man pickets do not require the approval of the authorities. If it is a chain of one-man pickets, like they say, we will treat this event as a different kind of event," he said.

Mayorov said the call on citizens to walk from Lubyanka to Leforotovo without banners constitutes "a call for a march."

"All actions, including the calls made to citizens, will be evaluated in accordance with the law," Mayorov said.

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