26 protesters calling for release of political prisoners arrested before Putin’s press conference

posted 23 Dec 2013, 08:21 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 23 Dec 2013, 08:22 ]
19 December 2013

Source: HRO.org (info)
Activists calling for the release of political prisoners were detained whilst collecting signatures for a petition that was to be given to Putin. They were arrested on 19 December outside the World Trade Centre, where the annual press conference with Vladimir Putin was due to take place.

Kasparov.ru reports that 26 people were arrested by Russian law enforcement agencies for carrying out an allegedly “unsanctioned action” and taken to Moscow’s Presnenskoe police station.

Since the remaining activists were not able to hand the petition to the president, they began to hold one-person pickets.

Earlier activists gathered outside the building to collect signatures for the letter to Putin calling for the release of political prisoners. Some activists held placards demanding an open meeting with the President.

The day before an amnesty to mark 20 years of the Russian Constitution entered into force. According to the amnesty some of the defendants from the Bolotnaya case, the members of Pussy Riot and the crew from Artic Sunrise are to be released.

Translated by Chloe Cranston