Russian opposition stages Moscow sit-in

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About a hundred people staged a sit-in in central Moscow Sunday calling for freedom of assembly as police arrested participants in a demonstration in St Petersburg.

Russian opposition figures stage protests on the 31st of every month to demand the implementation of Article 31 of the Russian constitution which guarantees freedom of assembly.

"About a hundred participants in a unauthorised demonstration" sat in Triumfalnaya square in the city centre, the Interfax news agency quoted a police spokesman as saying.

"As long as they do not represent a danger to anyone else, no measures will be taken against them," he added.

Opposition movement leader Alexander Averin from "The Other Russia" group said about 200 people responded to a call to protest in the central square, including writer Eduard Limonov, who is usually arrested by police before he even attends.

Demonstrators chanted "Freedom to meet and demonstrate!"

It was a different scene in St Petersburg where police arrested about 20 people taking part in an opposition gathering in the city centre, an AFP journalist witnessed.

More than a dozen were also arrested during a protest in Nizhny Novgorod, a city in the Volga region east of Moscow.

© 2011 AFP

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