Accessibility links

Breaking News

At Least 20 Detained At Moscow Rally For Internet Freedom

Moscow Rally Demands Internet Freedom
please wait

No media source currently available

0:00 0:01:26 0:00

At least 20 people have been detained at a Moscow rally against government attempts to curtail Internet freedom, a rally coordinator says.

Hundreds of protesters attending the May 13 called for the unblocking of the popular app Telegram, while some chanted antigovernment slogans and brandished signs carrying messages against Internet censorship.

"About 25-30 people representing Left Front, the anarchists, and other organizations were detained. They have been led outside the cordons and are being placed in buses," Left Front opposition party coordinator Sergei Udaltsov told Interfax.

The police said about 1,000 people were taking part in the rally. The volunteer organization White Counter said more than 2,000 people came to the rally organized by mathematician Dmitry Bogatov and his wife, Tatyana Fyodorova.

Several opposition politicians took part in the protest, including former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov.

The rally came after thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg on May 1 to protest against government attempts to restrict Internet freedom.

About 10,000 people also rallied in Moscow on April 30 to protest the blocking of Telegram, chanting that Russian President Vladimir Putin was "a thief!"

Last month's move to block Telegram has deepened concerns that the Russian government is seeking to close avenues for dissent.

Some users have circumvented the block by using virtual private networks.

Based on reporting by Current Time TV, Reuters, and Interfax

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.