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Russia bans public protests at 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

Russia has banned demonstrations and rallies in Sochi around the Winter Olympics in 2014, in a move immediately denounced by rights activists.

The decree – signed by President Vladimir Putin – also severely restricts access to the Black Sea resort from 7 January to 21 March.

The Kremlin said the measure was needed to guarantee security during the Olympics and Paralympics.

But activists described the decree as “unconstitutional”.

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