RUSSIA: Riot police disperse opposition rally; detain, beat journalists

March 24, 2007
Posted: March 28, 2007

Mikhail Beznosov, Novoye Delo
Arkady Bobchenko, Novaya Gazeta
Yevgeny Lavlinsky, Gorod i Gorozhane
Roman Mukhametzhanov, Moskovskiye Novosti
Andei Nikolsky, Ogonyok
Joseph Sywenkyj, The New York Times
* Remko Reiding, Dutch Press Association
* Ivan Sekretaryov, The Associated Press
* Denis Sinyakov, Reuters



Police detained nine Russian and international journalists and beat three of them as they covered an opposition rally in the central Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod.

At the Gorky Square rally in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia’s third largest city 250 miles east of Moscow, police officers in full riot gear rounded up 90 demonstrators that included nine journalists, three of whom were beaten, according to Moscow press freedom group Center for Journalism in Extreme Situation correspondents who were present. The journalists were all released by the end of the day.

The “March of the Dissenters” rally, which attracted several hundred demonstrators to protest the Kremlin’s silencing of Russia’s opposition, was organized by opposition coalition The Other Russia, led by former chess world champion and Kremlin critic Garri Kasparov and former Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov.

This is the third rally organized by The Other Russia in recent months. A similar demonstration in St. Petersburg earlier this month, which gathered several thousand protesters, was also broken up violently by local police. The Other Russia is planning another Moscow demonstration in mid-April.