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2 Kashin Supporters Detained

Two reporters were detained in central Moscow on Sunday after openly criticizing the police investigation into last year's beating of Kommersant journalist Oleg Kashin.

Dozens of Kashin supporters rallied outside the Moscow police headquarters on Ulitsa Petrovka in one-man pickets separated by a distance of 20 meters — the only form of protest that does not require a permit.

Sunday marked the first anniversary of the attack on Kashin, who spent days in coma after two unidentified thugs beat him outside his downtown apartment building with metal rods they hid inside bouquets of flowers.

Some 40 protesters, many of them Kashin's colleagues, came to the police office, many carrying posters reading simply, "Journalist Kashin Was Beaten." Famed blogger-activist Alexei Navalny also attended.

The event ended with police detaining Anna Busygina of Dozhd online television and Lolita Gruzdeva of Kommersant-FM radio, Kashin wrote on his Twitter blog from the scene.

A series of pickets in Kashin's support were also held in St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg.

Last year, President Dmitry Medvedev personally promised to Kashin to have the attackers punished, but the pledge remains unfulfilled.

Kashin has repeatedly attributed the lack of progress in the investigation to allegations that the attack was masterminded by Vasily Yakemenko, head of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs and a prime target of Kashin's scathing publications.

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