Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thousands of Moscow Protestors Call For Release of Political Prisoners

Thousands of people joined a rally Wednesday in support of activists detained after last year’s violent clashes between police and protestors. Carrying placards with pictures of alleged political prisoners, including protestors accused of participating in mass riots, oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky and members of punk band Pussy Riot, participants in the “For Your and Our Freedom” march walked through downtown Moscow in bright sunshine to Bolotnaya Square. The march passed mostly peacefully, but its route re-traced that of a demonstration on May 6, 2012, which ended in a bloody melee and 650 detentions. Twelve people are currently on trial, and another 16 under investigation, in relation to those skirmishes between riot police and protestors, which police say were instigated by radical activists. Opposition leaders maintain that the police provoked the violence. City police said about 6,000 protestors turned up to this year's rally, while activists put the figure nearer 30,000. Last year’s May 6 rally attracted 8,000 people, according to police, or up to 100,000, according to some independent estimates. (video)

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