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Moscow court upholds ban on radical National Bolshevik Party

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MOSCOW, June 15 (RIA Novosti) - A court in Moscow upheld Friday a decision made by the Justice Ministry to deny a banned extremist-minded political party registration.

Vitaly Varivoda, a lawyer representing interests of the National Bolshevik Party, said the Moscow City Court did not reveal the reasons for rejecting an appeal filed by the party, but said he was going to appeal the decision in the court's presidium and in the European Court of Human Rights.

Russia's Federal Registration Service refused on January 30 to register the NBP for the fifth time since 1998.

A service spokesman said at the time that the NBP had failed to achieve a quorum at its constitutive assembly and that its regional departments included people under 18 years of age, which was illegal. The representative said the party practiced racial discrimination, which was also illegal.

The spokesman also said that activists from the NBP, which is known for attracting young people on the margins of society, had repeatedly committed crimes of an extremist nature. He added that controversial leader Eduard Limonov, who was released from prison in 2004 after serving almost two-years of a sentence for illegally buying weapons, approved of such activity in the media.

Most recently, three NBP activists - two men and a woman - were detained after gate-crashing the World Newspaper Congress in the Kremlin, shouting slogans including "Putin is the executioner of freedom" and "Russia without Putin," as President Vladimir Putin prepared to address the gathering on the topic of press freedom in Russia.

The party was founded in 1992 as the National Bolshevik Front. It has around 15,000 members with regional departments throughout Russia and a headquarters in Moscow.

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