Russian opposition leader Garry Kasparov has been sentenced to five days in prison for attending an un-authorised demonstration in Moscow. Riot police detained the former world chess champion as several thousand people joined an anti-Kremlin rally in central Moscow. After the sentence was read he told journalists inside the courtroom “the testimony was all lies’‘.
Kasparov is one of President Vladimir Putin’s harshest critics. He and other opposition politicians have come under growing pressure leading up to parliamentary elections on December 2nd. The protests were organized by Kasparov’s opposition Other Russia group which accuses Putin of destroying personal liberties and the freedom of the press.
Plain clothes police shoved and pulled people into vans and police armed with batons grabbed protest leaders. An estimated 60 people were reportedly detained. Putin enjoys widespread support among the electorate in Russia. He will step next year after his second and final term but he has said he will continue to play a role in the country’s politics.