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Activists Detained At Russian Protests For Free Assembly

Russian police arrest opposition leader Eduard Limonov (second from right) during a protest in central Moscow on December 31.
Russian police have detained a prominent opposition figure and two dozen other activists for staging unauthorized demonstrations in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Police detained Eduard Limonov, a leader of the Other Russia opposition movement, as he addressed journalists in Moscow's Triumph Square.

Demonstrators across Russia’s two biggest cities on December 31 were rallying to defend the right to assembly, which is enshrined in the Russian Constitution but frequently denied through officials' refusal to issue the necessary permits.

Opposition activists say riot police arrested at least 28 people.

For several years, the Strategy 31 movement has called for protests on the last day of every month that has 31 days to highlight what opponents of President Vladimir Putin say is government suppression of the right to free assembly.

Based on reporting by Interfax and Reuters