Six detained in Russian opposition prison rally

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Russian police on Sunday detained six people rallying in support of opposition leaders held in a Moscow prison, Moscow Echo radio said.

Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov put the number of arrests at 12.

"Police officers detained about 12 people near the prison on Simferopol boulevard", including opposition activists but also people opposed to their rally, Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.

Former deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov was arrested on New Year's Eve on the sideline of an opposition rally and sentenced to two weeks in prison on January 2 for resisting the police.

Three other opposition leaders, Eduard Limonov, Konstantin Kosyakin and Iliya Yashin, were jailed for between five and 10 days for similar reasons after calling for the respect of an article in the constitution which guarantees freedom of assembly.

On Thursday some 20 people were detained outside the prison and on Saturday two opposition figures, Dmitry Andriyanov and Marat Salakhiyev, were sentenced to two days in prison for protesting on Moscow's Red Square against the latest arrests and calling for the release of political prisoners.

The United States last week slammed the arrests as contrary to President Dmitry Medvedev's liberal rhetoric and the country's long-term interests.

© 2011 AFP

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