The monument to the victims of repression in Sochi, 2021. Photo by the "Caucasian Knot"

05 March 2024, 15:10

In Sochi, lawyers comment on ban on laying flowers at monument to victims of repression

When commenting on the actions of the police who forbade a resident of Sochi from laying flowers at the monument to the victims of repression, lawyers have noted that laying flowers at monuments cannot be compared with throwing out household garbage in a wrong place, and the ban on holding such commemorative events violates the law.

The “Caucasian Knot” has reported that on March 2, the Sochi police did not permit a local woman to lay flowers at the monument to the victims of repression, claiming that laying flowers was only permissible on October 30, the Day of Remembrance for Victims of Political Repression.

On February 23, residents of Sochi tried to organize a memorial for Alexei Navalny at the monument to those killed in World War II, but the memorial was closed for repairs.

Lawyer Maxim Ivlev emphasizes that “the concept of throwing household garbage in a wrong place should be clearly separated” from the concept of “laying flowers at a monument.” The lawyer notes that the concept of “household garbage” is not included in the law at all, but there is the concept of “waste.”

“If fresh flowers are taken away from a monument, this may be recognized as theft or vandalism. The theft of flowers from monuments or burial sites is being treated as disrespect for the memory of the deceased and can cause emotional distress for those who lay flowers in memory of the deceased. No law in the Russian Federation provides for when exactly it is permitted to lay flowers at monuments or graves,” the lawyer notes.

A similar opinion has been voiced by former advocate Mikhail Benyash (included in the register of foreign agents). However, he expressed his scepticism about the idea of contacting the prosecutor’s office or the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (ICRF), since such appeals could be a waste of time.

Lawyer Elena Didenko explains that there are no laws restricting the laying of flowers at monuments.

Sochi resident Iren Ilyenkova, a former leader of the regional branch of the “Yabloko” Party, expressed her indignation at the ban on laying flowers at monuments. “Death demands respect, and no one has the moral right to prevent people from grieving because of someone else’s personal fears and suspicions,” the activist emphasized.

Sochi resident Vera Beregovaya stated that law enforcers were behaving “unworthily” by prohibiting the laying of flowers at monuments.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on March 4, 2024 at 05:24 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Kristina Romanova Source: СK correspondent

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