Leftist opposition leader detained at Russia protest

AFP , Tuesday 31 Jan 2012

The leftist leader of the Other Russia opposition movement Eduard Limonov has been arrested among other protesters after organising a 100-people demonstration to call for the society's right to freedom of assembly

Communist party supporters hold red flags as they take part in a rally protesting alleged vote rigging in Russia's elections after they visited the mausoleum of Lenin to mark the 88th anniversary of his death at Moscow's Red Square, Russia, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012. (Photo:AP)

Over a dozen protesters including radical opposition leader Eduard Limonov were detained on Tuesday as they sought to stage a rally marking Russians' right to freedom of assembly, organisers said.

Around 100 people turned up for an unsanctioned rally in central Moscow organised by Limonov, the leftist leader of The Other Russia opposition movement who has been repeatedly arrested during similar rallies in the past.

"Several people have been detained including Limonov," Alexander Averin, spokesman for The Other Russia, told AFP.

An AFP correspondent at the scene said police detained around 15 activists.

Limonov, who has been barred from running in the March presidential election, has proposed gathering at a central Moscow square on the 31st day of certain months in honour of Article 31 in the constitution which permits peaceful demonstrations.

The protest comes as Russia's nascent opposition movement including prominent cultural figures and politicians of all hues, are preparing to organise a demonstration Saturday against Vladimir Putin's expected comeback the March 4 vote.

More than 26,000 people have said they will attend the Saturday protest, according to its organisers' page on Facebook.

Tens of thousands took to the streets in two such rallies in December that were initially sparked by fraud-tainted parliamentary polls.

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