- Title: Over 20,000 rally in Moscow to demand release of jailed protesters
- Date: 29th September 2019
- Summary: MOSCOW, RUSSIA (SEPTEMBER 29, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PROTEST RALLY RUSSIAN OPPOSITION LEADER AND KREMLIN CRITIC ALEXEI NAVALNY ADDRESSING CROWD FROM STAGE (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) OPPOSITION LEADER AND KREMLIN CRITIC ALEXEI NAVALNY, SAYING: "Both (President Vladimir) Putin and his whole gang know perfectly that if we don't keep silent about it, if people keep talking about everyone, from (protester Konstantin) Kotov to shaman from Yakutia, then their rating will fall down to dust. Nobody likes it. Nobody feels happy about innocent people being put in jail, except him (Vladimir Putin) and a group of people around him. We need to believe in our power." PROTESTERS AT RALLY (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) OPPOSITION LEADER AND KREMLIN CRITIC ALEXEI NAVALNY, SAYING: "We will make them release them (political prisoners), if there is a lot of us. Each of us have a horrible weapon in our pockets - our phone. Write it on Instagram every day, write it on Twitter every day. Any dialogue with any official should start with what word? Right, with the word 'release'. (CHANTING) Release! Release!" PROTESTERS AT RALLY CHEERING AND APPLAUDING PROTESTERS HOLDING POSTER READING (Russian) 'DOWN WITH THE DEVIL' NAVALNY SPEAKING AT RALLY PROTESTERS HOLDING POSTER IN SUPPORT OF JAILED PROTESTERS OPPOSITION POLITICIAN LYUBOV SOBOL BEHIND STAGE AT PROTEST (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) OPPOSITION POLITICIAN LYUBOV SOBOL, SAYING: "We demand political changes in our country, so that the Constitution would not be cited in opposition slogans, but would be a real basic law of our country."
- 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: LVA001AYPN8LJ
- 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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