Worldwide condemnation of Kasparov's arrest

4/15/2007 – The detention of the head of the Russian United Civil Front opposition organization, Garry Kasparov, has made the news in almost every Western TV channel, and is reported in all major news agencies and newspapers. Sky TV has put a video report on their web site, and the Kasparov.ru web site provided dramatic pictures. Impressions from Moscow.

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Videos and pictures from the events in Moscow

Kasparov Speaks To Sky
The Russian opposition leader and former chess champion Garry Kasparov has been arrested as he tried to attend a banned protest in Moscow. Speaking to Sky News whilst being detained, Mr Kasparov said that police are deciding how to punish him.

Sky News reported that Kasparov had been released by a Moscow court, after being fined 1,000 rubles – £20 – for his part in the demonstration. Kasparov, who was held for more than ten hours, said: "It is not about the size of the fine – it is a precedent because now if they arrest me a second time they can put me behind bars." The protest had been forbidden by authorities and thousands of police, many of them in helmets and wielding truncheons, were at the square as scores of people were detained. Many went quietly, but some struggled and were forced into police vehicles by officers holding truncheons around the detainees' necks. Another anti Kremlin march is expected in St Petersburg on Sunday and like the march in Moscow, authorities have forbidden it.

Yahoo News: Russian police beat, detain protesters

In Yahoo News Associated Press writer Douglas Birch reported: Riot police beat and detained protesters as thousands defied an official ban and attempted to stage a rally Saturday against President
Vladimir Putin's government. A similar march planned for Sunday in St. Petersburg has also been banned by authorities.

Thousands of police officers massed to keep the demonstrators off landmark Pushkin Square in downtown Moscow, beating some and detaining many others, including Garry Kasparov, the former world chess champion who has emerged as the most prominent leader of the opposition alliance. Police said 170 people had been detained but a Kasparov aide, Marina Litvinovich, said as many as 600 were — although about half were released quickly. Kasparov, whom witnesses said was seized as he tried to lead a small group of demonstrators through lines of police ringing the square, was freed late Saturday after he was fined $38 for participating in the rally.

"It is no longer a country ... where the government tries to pretend it is playing by the letter and spirit of the law," Kasparov said outside the court building, appearing unfazed by his detention. "We now stand somewhere between Belarus and Zimbabwe," he said.


All pictures by courtesy of the web site Kasparov.ru

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