Russian rally held to demand release of 'hostages of the authorities'

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Russian rally held to demand release of 'hostages of the authorities'

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Opposition activists in Moscow have staged a demonstration to call for the release of 12 protesters held in jail following an anti-Putin rally on May 6 this year.

Violence erupted in Bolotnaya Square on the eve of the inauguration of President Vladimir Putin, 400 were detained and 30 police officers injured.

Since the arrests those opposed to Putin formed the “May 6 Committee” to ensure the plight of the prisoners is not forgotten.

Blogger and activist Alexei Navalny said: “We should show to those held and their relatives that we have solidarity with them, that we will not let them rot. We’ll be always with them”.

Sergei Udaltsov, a member of the Left Front, told euronews: “I was present at that march and I saw what happened. The authorities did all the provoking. I was nearly trampled down. And now we’re accused of violence and disorder.”

Protesters wore badges and held banners which read ‘Russia without Putin’ and ‘Murderers free the innocent opposition’.

Our Russian correspondent Alexander Shashkov concluded: “The day before today’s meeting two more participants of the march on Bolotnaya Square have been detained. This brings to 12 the number of those whom the ‘May 6 Committee’ which organised today’s meeting and call the ‘hostages of the authorities’”