Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree banning all
demonstrations in Sochi around the time that the Winter Olympics are
to take place.
According to the AP, the decree was published in the government
newspaper on Friday. It states that all “gatherings, rallies,
demonstrations, marches and pickets” that are not part of the
Olympics or Paralympics are prohibited in Sochi. It will be in
effect from January 7 to March 21. The Winter Olympics take place in
February and the Paralympics in early March.
The news service reported that such bans are unusual and that the
ban could be a response to increasing international pressure against
the nation's “gay propaganda” law, which was signed in June by
The anti-gay law prohibits the public promotion of gay rights in a
venue where minors might be present. It has triggered calls for a
boycott of the Winter Olympics.
By banning all demonstrations, Putin could be attempting to
strengthen the case made in recent days by the government that the
law is not discriminatory.
defends anti-gay law; says it's not discrimination.)