A dozen dissidents arrested in Moscow protest

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About a dozen Russian opposition activists were detained Sunday while trying to stage a march on the president's offices during their monthly "Day of Rage" protest, an AFP correspondent reported.

About a hundred demonstrators gathered on a major square facing Bolshoi Theatre before trying to move toward the Kremlin to press their demands.

The initial gathering was sanctioned but the Moscow police refused to grant the group permission to move off the square.

The list of those detained included Sergei Udaltsov, leader of the Left Front group who has been arrested on repeated occasions in previous months.

"The people tried to take their demands to the presidential administration office," Udaltsov told Moscow Echo radio by telephone.

"But as soon as they started moving off the square, the police intervened," he said.

Russian opposition leaders strongly complain about rights restrictions that include limits on freedom of assembly.

Western governments have expressed concern about Russian authorities' heavy-handed treatment of the opposition, although no injuries were reported on this occasion.

© 2011 AFP

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