Russian March participants wearing masks should be punished - Public Chamber

Russian Public Chamber member, President of the Fund for Research of Democracy Problems Maxim Grigoryev has called provocative the masks worn by certain participants in the Russian March in Moscow.

"Masks worn by some participants in the Russian March in Moscow are a pure provocation and a violation of the law regulating mass actions. The police must detain and charge the violators," he told Interfax on Sunday.

"The march organizers are directly responsible for such violations," Grigoryev said.

He emphasized that culture of mass actions was just been developed in Russia. "Participants and organizers are learning to hold protest actions in a correct and non-aggressive form, while the police are learning to ensure security pursuant to current laws," the expert said.

It was reported earlier that certain participants in the Russian March in central Moscow were wearing masks.

A police officer approached an organizer of the Russian March and asked him to persuade the marchers to take off their masks, an Interfax correspondent reported from the scene.

Many of the demonstrators have covered their faces with scarves, or medical face masks, or wearing balaclavas which they said was due to cold weather and their fear of flu.

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