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Mothers Of 'Political Prisoners' Hold Single-Person Pickets In Moscow

MOSCOW -- Dozens of women have held a series of one-person pickets in central Moscow to call for the release of their children, who they said had been arrested on politically motivated charges.

The mothers of the activists stood with placards outside the building of Russia’s presidential administration on November 4, which is marked in Russia as National Unity Day.

Russian law allows holding so-called single-picket protests -- when demonstrators stay away from each other -- without the need to ask for official permission.

One of the picketers, Natalya Konon, told RFE/RL that the protest action's goal was not only to challenge the authorities but also to "wake up society."

She is the mother of Daniil Konon, one of several activists arrested for allegedly assaulting police during an unsanctioned rally on July 27.

Several of the protesting women came from mostly Muslim-populated Russian regions of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan to demand the release of their children who were imprisoned for allegedly being members of the banned Hizb ut-Tahrir Islamic group.

"Our children are NOT terrorists!" their posters read.

The leader of For Human Rights group, Lev Ponomaryov, joined the protesters to denounce the Supreme Court's decision last week to shut down his organization.