Russian police detain dozen at political prisoner rally
MOSCOW - Agence France-Presse
Police officers escort a Russian opposition activist arrested during a protest near the Kremlin in central Moscow on March 24. AFP photoPolice detained around a dozen protesters near Moscow's Red Square today as they called for the release of political activists against President Vladimir Putin, an Agence France-Presse photographer reported.
Around 40 opposition activists held up placards with the slogan "Freedom to Political Prisoners" calling for the release of detainees who took part in a large anti-Putin rally in May 2012 that ended in violent clashes with police.
Police detained around a dozen people for breaching rules on lone pickets, which do not have to be sanctioned by the authorities as long as they do not amount to a group protest.
So far 21 people have been charged over the last year's protest, staged a day before Putin's inauguration for a third term, that ended with the detentions of protest leaders and around 400 activists. One of them has already been tried and sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison.