the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement by NSC Spokesman Mike Hammer on the Detention of Article 31 Rally Participants

Detention of Article 31 Rally Participants Raises Human Right Concerns

The United States is concerned by the detention on July 31 of Russian citizens who were participating in rallies throughout Russia to demonstrate their support for Article 31 of the Russian Constitution, which guarantees to Russian citizens the right of assembly. 

The United States reiterates the importance of embracing and protecting universal values, including freedoms of expression and assembly, enshrined in the Russian Constitution as well as in international agreements which Russia has signed.   Freedom of assembly and freedom of expression are also characteristics of a modern political system that supports economic modernization.    The infringement of Russian citizens' rights to exercise these freedoms runs counter to our shared commitments to international norms and common interests in fostering modernization.

The United States remains committed to supporting those in Russia and around the world who are working to protect and advance the human rights and democratic values of their fellow citizens.