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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Kasparov Arrested in Putin Protest

[via AFP]
[C]hess legend Garry Kasparov was arrested Saturday after scuffling with riot police during a protest against President Vladimir Putin a week before parliamentary elections.

Kasparov and one of his bodyguards were grabbed by riot police and forced into a police bus which then drove them away from the scene where hundreds of opposition activists were in a tense standoff with security forces….

The arrest came during a march in central Moscow by members of The Other Russia coalition led by Kasparov and which brings together radical leftwingers, moderates and liberal reformers opposed to Putin's policies.

"We were posing no threat to public order," Kasparov [said.] "We wanted to peacefully march to the election commission. The powers that be are simply afraid of people who express their dissent."

Kasparov was arrested after around 2,000 anti-Putin demonstrators held a rally, after which a few hundred marched toward the Central Election Commission office to deliver a petition denouncing the December 2 parliamentary vote….

Putin's United Russia party is set to win a strong majority in the vote held just three months before presidential elections that are to elect a successor to the Kremlin leader.


Anonymous said...

Didn't I say that elections are going to be sham?

Not that I have much symphaty for Kasparov or other members of that particular bloc and as I understand, police was technically right, - march wasn't permitted by city administration, organizers knew that and went on anyway.

12:15 p.m. November 24, 2007

MOSCOW – Former chess champion Garry Kasparov was convicted of leading an opposition protest and sentenced to five days in jail by a Moscow court Saturday.

Who said bureaucracy isn't fast and efficient? Also here (autotranslation).

Anonymous said...

Another problem here is that career of any Russian politician getting any sort of approval from anyone in US is at serious risk, no matter how well-meaning that support is.

Anonymous said...

There was an interesting article about him in the New Yorker recently:

I also quite enjoyed this one about Putin's Russia in general, coincidentally from the same source: