The head of the Russian NGO "For Human Rights", Lev Ponomarev has been sentenced to administrative detention by a court for organising a peaceful event to commemorate the victims of the Beslan school siege which began on the 1 September 2004. Lev Ponomarev had organised a meeting at Moscow's Lubianka Square on 3 September 2006 to mark the anniversary of the siege, during which shooting broke out between the hostage-takers and the Russian security forces. According to official data, 344 civilians were killed, including 186 children, and hundreds more were wounded. Lev Ponomarev was sentenced on the grounds that he did not have official permission to hold the event, however under the relevant Russian legislation official permission is not required to hold such an event, only to inform the authorities. Lev Ponomarev had informed the authorities prior to holding the event.
Police dispersed the meeting in Lubyanka Square and reportedly arrested a number of participants who were allegedly charged with administrative offences. Human rights defender, Lev Ponomarev, was the first case to be heard by the court.