Russia's opposition rally against state "repression"

16th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

Dozens of defiant opposition activists staged a fresh protest in Moscow against government "repression" Sunday, a day after authoritiea freed two jailed opposition leaders.

Some 50 protestors braved sub-zero temperatures in Moscow's Pushkin Square, rallied, holding banners that read: "(The government) will not scare us!", "No to arbitrary rule!", "We will not forget!", according to an AFP reporter.

The demonstration took place a day after Moscow released opposition leaders Boris Nemtsov and Eduard Limonov after a two-week detention following their arrests during a sanctioned New Year's Eve protest.

Leftist opposition leader Konstantin Kossiakin, who was also detained for several days, took part in the protest.

Police were present at the demonstration but did not make arrests.

The men were arrested on December 31 for leading rallies calling for the respect of Article 31 in the constitution which guarantees freedom of assembly. They were later convicted of disobeying police orders.

Russian police arrested a total of 68 people in Moscow and 50 in Saint Petersburg during last month's rallies. The United States slammed the arrests as contrary to President Dmitry Medvedev's liberal rhetoric and the country's long-term interests.

A lawyer for Nemtsov earlier this week filed an appeal with the European Court of Human Rights over his arrest and imprisonment by the Moscow police.

© 2011 AFP

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