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Russian rights activists say hundreds more protestors detained before anti-Putin rally

[JURIST] Organizers and observers of a Moscow rally [JURIST report] held Saturday by a coalition of opposition parties protesting Russian President Vladimir Putin's increasingly-restrictive rights record [JURIST news archive] were quoted in press reports Sunday as saying that police pulled hundreds of would-be demonstrators off buses heading for the unusual rally even before it took place. Some 320 protestors were said to have been detained ahead of the rally, and dozens were arrested afterward. Authorities said the demonstrators disobeyed police orders to cease yelling and waving signs as they exited a central Moscow square.

The demonstrators belonged to a diverse coalition of parties critical of Putin, including the liberal United Civil Front [party website, in Russian], led by former chess great Garry Kasparov [official website, in Russian]. The protestors eventually numbered about 2000; some 8500 police and security personnel were deployed in Moscow Saturday to counter them. MosNews has more.

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