Moscow city authorities have refused to allow human rights activists to stage a protest in front of Turkmenistan's embassy Monday in support of jailed Turkmen journalists.
The Memorial Human Rights Center said Friday that city officials justified their refusal by saying the protest could affect "heavy public transport flow" in the area close to the embassy.
Memorial says the refusal was politically motivated.
An application to conduct the protest was filed by Memorial activist Bakhrom Khamroyev, who is originally from Uzbekistan.
The idea to stage the demonstration was initiated by the Association of Central Asian Political Immigrants in Russia after authorities in Turkmenistan on December 3 arrested 27-year-old RFE/RL correspondent Khudayberdy Allashov on charges of illegal possession of chewing tobacco.
The United States, the European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and RFE/RL have all called on Turkmenistan to immediately release Allashov.