Riot police detain Russians demanding free assembly

By REUTERS
March 31, 2012 20:47

 
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MOSCOW - Anti-government protesters shouting "Russia without Putin!" tussled with police in Moscow on Saturday, and dozens of activists were detained and bundled into police vans.

Police detained about 75 people rallying in Moscow and St. Petersburg against Vladimir Putin - who will return to the presidency in May after four years as prime minister - and demanding the freedom of assembly.

In Moscow, riot police in black helmets and body armor locked elbows and pushed a crowd of about 300 protesters and journalists along sidewalks and roadways near a central square.

Protesters chanted "Russia without Putin!" and "Freedom of Assembly: Always and Everywhere!"

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