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Hunger Strikers Detained In Moscow


MOSCOW -- Police in Moscow have detained hunger strikers demanding a referendum on the direct election of Moscow's mayor, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

On June 18, activists from the Left Front movement and the Council of Initiative Groups were detained and charged with holding an unsanctioned mass gathering.

Their trial is scheduled for June 22.

Ten of the activists resumed their hunger strikes on June 19 in front of the building of the Russian president’s administration in Moscow.

Police forcibly dispersed the protest action, detaining six of the protesters.

Left Front coordinator Sergei Udaltsov told RFE/RL that his movement is demanding the creation of a special presidential commission on Moscow issues.

According to Udaltsov, it is not possible to solve all of the problems faced by the Russian capital and its citizens at the city level.

The movement is seeking a public referendum to decide on the direct election of the mayor of Moscow.

The Moscow City Duma declined to adopt the law on the referendum earlier this week.

Currently, the mayor of Moscow is elected by Moscow City Duma deputies.
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