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Moscow Activists Detained Protesting Police Law


Levy Front leader Sergei Udaltsov is escorted by a police officer in Moscow.

Levy Front leader Sergei Udaltsov is escorted by a police officer in Moscow.

MOSCOW -- Moscow police today detained five activists who staged individual protests outside the Russian State Duma against the draft law on police, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The State Duma is debating the draft today.

The protests were coordinated by opposition groups. Under Russian law, official permission is not required for individual protests.

The coordinator of the opposition Levy Front (Left Front), Sergei Udaltsov, was among those detained. He told RFE/RL by mobile phone that the protesters believe the draft law expands the power of the police.

The draft law would also restore the prerevolutionary name -- "politsia" -- to the force, which still goes by the communist-era name "militsia."

The protesters say that move will cost money that could be better spent on equipment.

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