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Russian Government Arrests Symbolic Article 31 Protesters

7 years ago92 views

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Moving now to Russia where expected monthly opposition protests are underway. Members of the opposition are being detained in Moscow and St. Petersburg for attempting to participate in protests unsanctioned by the state.

Russian police detain more than 60 activists in Moscow and St. Petersburg on Tuesday. The activists were protesting against restrictions on freedom of assembly.

Opposition activists stage demonstrations on Triumph Square in central Moscow and Nevsky Prospekt in St. Petersburg on the last day of each month with 31 days.

This a symbolic recognition of the right to free assembly secured under Article 31 of Russia's constitution.

Russia's Interfax corporate news agency says opposition leaders Limonov and Ilya Yashin, were detained in Moscow along with twenty-four other protesters.

[Alexander Ryklin, Russian Journalist & Editor-in-Chief, Daily Magazine Website]:
"I come here every 31st day of the month because I think it is our civil duty to fight for our civil rights. And no one can forbid me to do that because it is written in our Constitution."

In St. Petersburg, Russia's second biggest city, at least 300 protesters gathered in Nevsky Prospekt. Police reportedly detained some and dragged them to police buses.

"Russia will be free" and "Free elections" were among the posters held by protesters.

Russia holds presidential elections next year, when both President Dmitry Medvedev and his mentor Prime Minister Vladimir Putin could run.

Local opposition leader Olga Kurnosova says the protesters will become even more active in the pre-election year.