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Vladimir Putin bans ‘gatherings, rallies, demonstrations, marches and pickets’ around Olympics

Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) sits next to Russian Bikers’ Association president Alexander Zaldostanov (L) as they attend the opening ceremony of the reconstructed Children’s Circle Dance fountain on Volgograd’s Privokzalnaya Square, which has become a symbol of the city’s military history, on August 23, 2013. AFP PHOTO / RIA NOVOSTI / PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE / ALEXEY NIKOLSKY (Photo credit should read ALEKSEY NIKOLSKYI/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a decree outlawing public assemblies, among other security tightening measures, for a 2 1/2-month stretch including the Sochi Olympics in February.

The Rossiyskaya Gazeta, an official Russian government newspaper, published the decree Friday, according to The Associated Press.

All “gatherings, rallies, demonstrations, marches and pickets” that are not part of the Olympics or the Paralympics will be prohibited in Sochi from Jan. 7 to March 21, the decree said.

The Sochi Olympics run from Feb. 7-23, and the Paralympics are March 7-16.

It is not known if the decree specifically addressed Russia’s law banning the “propagandizing” of “nontraditional sexual relations” toward minors.

The Russian government sent a letter to the International Olympic Committee on Thursday saying it will not discriminate at the Olympics and at the same time defending the law.

IOC president Jacques Rogge was asked at the United Nations in New York on Friday if he was satisfied by what he’s been told about the Russian law.

“We have received strong oral but also written reassurances that there will be no discrimination for the people who will attend the Games in Sochi,” he told reporters. “We are going to inform all the National Olympic Committees and the athletes who want to have clarity that we are being comforted by the fact that the Russian Federation agrees to respect the Olympic Charter.”

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