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Police in St Petersburg set reporters free on recognizance to report to court

July 09, 2012, 7:31 UTC+3

Police in St Petersburg detained about 20 supporters of Russia’s nonconformist oppositionist Sergei Udaltsov

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St PETERSBURG, July 9 (Itar-Tass) — Police in St Petersburg detained about 20 supporters of Russia’s nonconformist oppositionist Sergei Udaltsov near the office of Interior Department No. 2 Sunday night.

Udaltsov, known for his role in organizing opposition actions in Moscow at the end of last year and earlier this year, was taken to the same department earlier in the day.

The press service of the city’s Main Department of the Interior said Udaltsov, the oppositionist Olga Kurnosova and about ten participants in an unauthorized action of protest in front of the Otkyabrsky concert hall were told they would stay overnight at the police station.

They were issued the administrative charges with disobeying the police, participation in an unauthorized meeting and organization of the very same meeting.

At around 01:30 Moscow Standards Time, reporters working for Itar-Tass and the

RBC Daily newspaper, who had been on the spot to cover the action, were set free by the police on recognizance to report to the courtroom.

The protocols handed to the reporters by the police said they had been impeding the police patrol’s efforts to detain the citizens encroaching on law and order. The officers informed them on the fact but the reporters continued staying in the crowd of people, thus demonstrating disobedience.

“We were just doing our job, we acted very tactfully towards others and didn’t put up resistance to anyone but somehow we were the first ones to find ourselves in the Z-car,” RBC Daily reporter Sergei Kovalchenko said. “While we were introducing ourselves to the policemen, we did everything very tactfully but to no avail and eventually we found ourselves inside the Z-car.

“It’s really astonishing why the police first detain us and then started issuing absurd accusations to us,” Kovalchenko added. 

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