President George W. Bush criticized Russian authorities on Monday for their heavy hand in breaking up weekend election demonstrations against President Vladimir Putin.
Bush expressed deep concern over the detention of political leaders during the weekend in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and two other Russian cities. The freedoms of expression, assembly and press, as well as due process, are fundamental to any democratic society, he said.
"I am particularly troubled by the use of force by law enforcement authorities to stop these peaceful activities and to prevent some journalists and human rights activists from covering them," Bush said in a statement. "I am hopeful that the government of Russia will honor its international obligations in these areas, investigate allegations of abuses and free those who remain in detention."
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