- Title: Over 20,000 rally in Moscow to demand release of jailed protesters
- Date: 29th September 2019
- Summary: PROTESTERS HOLDING BANNER READING (Russian) 'YOU WANT BE ABLE TO JAIL US ALL' (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) PROTEST PARTICIPANT LYUDMILA, SAYING: "This is not the first rally for me. I came because what is happening in our country should not be happening. There needs to be a change of authority, first of all. It should have happened in 2004. Putin should have ruled for four years, and that's it, bye-bye. And now we have what we have, this judicial arbitrariness. And my heart aches for our country and for the people who got into this grinding machine." VARIOUS OF PEOPLE HOLDING POSTER READING (Russian) 'I DON'T WANT TO LIVE IN FEAR' (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) PROTEST PARTICIPANT AND STUDENT MAXIM NOVIKOV, SAYING: "As a student of the Higher School of Economics I decided to express my solidarity with (jailed student) Yegor Zhukov, who, as it appears, is my age, he's almost my classmate. I think it's very important to come here. We, the Higher School community, our family, we should stick up for each other. That's why I came here, to support him and other political prisoners." PROTESTER HOLDING CARDBOARD POSTER WITH PHOTOGRAPHS OF PROTESTERS BEING DETAINED AT MOSCOW RALLIES AND READING (Russian) 'EVERYTHING AS IT SHOULD BE' (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) PROTEST PARTICIPANT, SOFIA, SAYING: "Any protest is important, it's important to show how many people support the current stance, and in this case how many people are ready to stand up for the innocent guys who are in jail right now under the (so-called) 'Moscow case' or the 'New Greatness' case or many many other politically motivated cases. So, that's why I'm here." SOFIA STANDING WITH POSTER
- Embargoed: 13th October 2019 16:58
- Keywords: Russian protests political prisoners Russian opposition Moscow protests protests against police violence rally in Moscow
- Location: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- City: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- Country: Russia
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA003AYPN8LJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: AUDIO AS INCOMING
More than 20,000 Russians took to the streets of Moscow on Sunday (September 29) to demand the release of protesters jailed over the summer in what opponents of the Kremlin say is a campaign to stifle dissent.
The protesters were arrested at rallies that flared in July when opposition politicians were barred from a local election. Allegations of police brutality and what many Muscovites saw as harsh jail sentences have sparked an unusual public outcry.
Several people have been sentenced to up to four years in jail, and others are being prosecuted for crimes such as violence against police officers.
Throngs of people waved flags from an array of political groups, chanting "Let them go!" and "Freedom for political prisoners."
The protests do not pose a threat to President Vladimir Putin who won re-election by a landslide last year. But they come as his ratings have slipped following years of falling real incomes and an unpopular move to hike the retirement age.
The opposition had hoped for as big a turnout as possible, arguing that authorities would be compelled to release jailed protesters if they felt holding them could dent their ratings further.
The White Counter group which monitors political protests said it counted 25,200 people at the rally. Police put the figure at around 20,000.
The demonstration was authorised by the Moscow mayor's office, unlike several rallies in recent months where police briefly detained more than 2,000 people.
No police detentions were reported on Sunday.
(Production: Lev Sergeev / Mikhail Antonov / Dmitry Madorsky / Tatyana Makeeva / Anastasia Adasheva / Maria Stromova)
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