Russian police arrest dozens demanding right to assemble | News | DW | 31.05.2012
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Russian police arrest dozens demanding right to assemble

Russian police have detained dozens of demonstrators in Moscow and St. Petersburg. They were protesting against President Vladimir Putin and demanding the right to freedom of assembly.

Police arrested at least 100 protesters in Moscow and up to 10 in St. Petersburg on Thursday for taking part in unauthorized rallies. City authorities had denied them permission to demonstrate.

Among those arrested were writer Eduard Limonov, who was detained in Moscow's Triumphalnaya Square.

Demonstrators chanted "Russia without Putin!" and "Shame!" in reference to the Russian president. Many at both rallies were wearing white ribbons, which have become an anti-Kremlin symbol.

Russian police push an opposition activist during an anti-Kremlin protest in Moscow, Thursday, May 31, 2012

The opposition holds demonstrations nearly every month

"We don't need those who suppress freedom and truth ... I'm sick and tired of living in this disgusting country," Angelina Tsaava, an elderly protester who held a poster calling the authorities "democracy's executioners," told Reuters.

In St. Petersburg, around 200 people took part in peaceful protests.

The opposition demonstrates on the 31st of every long month to demand compliance to article 31 of the Russian constitution, which ensures the right to freedom of assembly.

ncy/jm (Reuters, AFP, dpa)