The Moscow police department is in favor of an idea to designate a special area for peaceful protests, similar to Speakers' Corner in London's Hyde Park, if it promotes law and order, a police spokeswoman said on Friday.
"If the creating of such a park promotes law enforcement in Moscow, then we are in favor," Zhanna Ozhimina said, adding that "location isn't important to police when they are maintaining order during mass demonstrations."
The idea was put forward by Russian human rights activist Alexander Brod after around 170 opposition protesters were brutally detained in downtown Moscow's Triumfalnaya Square on May 31 during a March of Dissent rally.
The crackdown caused public outrage because riot police far outnumbered demonstrators and people with disabilities as well as a WWII veteran were reported to be among those detained.
Brod said Bolotnaya Square across the river from the Kremlin could be a suitable location for the designated area.
Russian opposition leader Lev Ponomarev said on Thursday that while he was not against Brod's idea, protests should not be limited to one site only, as people "have the right to protest and express their opinions in other places as well."
Head of Moscow Helsinki Group human rights NGO Lyudmila Alekseyeva agreed with Ponomarev's stance.
"I am in favor of creating a Hyde Park in Moscow, but only if it is established on the permanent basis and is not the only place where protests can be held," she said adding that this area should be a site of historical significance in the city center, such as Red Square.
MOSCOW, June 4 (RIA Novosti)