Jan 4, 2014, 5:43 AM EST
Russian president Vladimir Putin has backed off his ban on “gatherings, rallies, demonstrations, marches and pickets” during the Olympics in Sochi.
Those demonstrations not connected with the Olympics may now be held if approved by the Interior Ministry that runs Russia’s police and Sochi city officials, according to RIA Novosti.
They’ll have to pick a city square where rallies or protests could be held, according to the report citing a Kremlin spokesman.
Authorities are generally stingy about granting permission for demonstrations to opposition groups, according to The Associated Press.
In August, Putin signed a decree outlawing any such demonstrations in Sochi from Jan. 7 through March 21, a span that includes the Olympics and Paralympics.
The easing on the restriction comes days after two suicide bombings in Volgograd, a city of one million 400 miles northeast of Sochi, raised concern over Olympic security.
In June, Putin signed a law banning the promotion of non-traditional sexual relations toward minors.
- Joss Christensen becomes ‘mountain man’ since Sochi Olympics 0
- IOC proposes adding Olympic events, bid reforms 0
- Ryan Lochte: I have no doubt Michael Phelps will come back 1
- Doha gets 2019 World Track and Field Championships over Eugene, Barcelona 1
- Bode Miller out until January due to back surgery 0
- Peter Forsberg and the Olympics 0
- Javier Fernandez wins Rostelecom Cup; Jason Brown’s best free skate (video) 0
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (60)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)