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A rally in support of political prisoners was held in the Novopushkinsky courtyard in Moscow on Tuesday. The May 6 Committee, which supports the defendants of the Bolotnaya criminal case, the union of solidarity with the political prisoners, the For Human Rights movement, the Moscow Helsinki Group and the Memorial human rights centre organized the rally. The organizers noted that the rally brought together about 1,500 people.
The rallies on October 30, which is marked as Day of Political Prisoner, the oldest human rights organizations, namely the Memorial centre, the Moscow Helsinki Group, the For Human Rights movement are held for more than ten years, this year the May 6 Committee joined the organizers. The May 6 Committee is a support group for the arrested in the criminal case over the massive disorders on the Bolotnaya Square, which is coordinating the aid to the families of the arrested and raises the funds for the payments to the lawyers, the Vedomosti daily reported.
The newspaper believes that “the Kremlin repressions” brought new demonstrators to the streets. “The events of this year resulted in new political prisoners in Russia, the participation of the committee in the human rights action is logical and natural,” activist of the May 6 Committee Izabel Magkoyeva explained.
“Elastic clauses of the laws on rallies, nongovernmental organizations – foreign agents, libel create a common space for repressions, but the society has acquired the experience of solidarity and nonviolent resistance, it is needed to observe it now,” Alexander Cherkasov from the Memorial human rights centre said.
According to the speakers, the Kommersant daily reported, about 20 political prisoners were brought to justice in Russia this year alone. This is the May 6 prisoners – people, who were detained on May 6 in the disorders in the Russian capital and who are accused under various articles in this criminal case. The organizers of the protest action noted that the victims of the political repressions in Russia are also the members of the Pussy Riot punk band, activist of the Other Russia movement Taisia Osipova, Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov and his associates Konstantin Lebedev and Leonid Razvozzhayev.
The protesters were not afraid of cold weather and icy rain, the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily reported. The parents of the defendants, who were detained during the May 6 rally and are being kept at the remand prisons, spoke up for the protesters. Meanwhile, civil activists and politicians, including Sergei Udaltsov, who could have been brought in custody recently, went up on the stage. In his speech Udaltsov urged the protesters to come for opposition rallies in the future and continue the struggle against the current state authorities this way, “Our demands were very simple: reforms and free elections and nothing more. For all these months we appealed to the state authorities to conduct the dialogue in order to get down the negotiating table. But instead of this the state authorities are blatantly falsifying the criminal cases. The challenge is cast against us, and we have only two ways: whether we will unite, mobilize and hold new massive protest actions in the face of these repressions or our actions do not cost a dime.”