Sunday, November 25, 2007

Weekend political news

Yesterday, the Russian police detained opposition leader and former world chess champion Garry Kasparov when they broke up an anti-Kremlin protest. Organized by the opposition Other Russia group, they accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of destroying personal liberties and the freedom of the press.

Scuffles broke out between police and protesters in central Moscow after around 3,000 people tried to march to the central election commission's headquarters.

It's one week to Russia's parliamentary election.

Last night, a Moscow judge sentenced Kasparov to five days in jail for holding an unauthorized march. City officials argued they had given Kasparov permission to conduct a rally but not a march.

Rally versus march: that might seem like a negligible difference around here but in Putin's Russia, that distinction lands you in jail.

Mr. Kasparov said the court proceedings had been “a choreographed farce from beginning to end ... It was a symbol of what has happened to justice and the rule of law under Putin.”

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