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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

 

Russia: Protester arrested for having too much support

From Radio Free Europe:

Ilya Yashin, the organizer of a public rally in front of the FSB building on Lubyanska Square on 12 June and head of Yabloko's youth branch, was scheduled to appear in a Moscow court on 14 June for vastly underestimating the number of attendees ahead of the event, "Kommersant-Daily" and "Vremya novostei" reported on 14 June. Yashin had permission for the rally from Moscow authorities but had said that only 250 people would participate; by some estimates as many as 1,500 showed up. The meeting, which was organized under the slogan "I am free and have forgotten what fear means," was held in support of former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovskii and other people the organizers consider to be political prisoners, "Vremya novostei" reported. Yashin told Ekho Moskvy on 13 June that the rally's success shows that this is the "era of street politics." He continued: "The reason is obvious: There is no public politics in this country. Political censorship has been imposed on central television and in all significant media. People have no opportunity to debate the most important and vital problems of their country's life. That's why they take to the street to discuss them."

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