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2 Yabloko Officials Detained

Yabloko party head Mitrokhin being restrained by a policeman Saturday. Tatyana Makeyeva

Moscow police have detained two Yabloko party officials after a protest rally against election fraud.

The Saturday rally was sanctioned for 300 participants, but police counted about 350.

Organizer Maya Zavyalova was detained on charges of violating public order, a police spokesman told RIA-Novosti. The charge carries a fine of 2,000 rubles (about $60).

Yabloko deputy chairman Sergei Mitrokhin was detained for moving a crowd control barrier in defiance of police orders, the party said in a statement

He was charged with disobeying police, a charge that carries a potential sentence of 15 days in jail.

The protesters demanded the resignation of the head of the Central Elections Commission, Vladimir Churov, after international monitors said the Dec. 4 State Duma elections were tarnished by violations.

Yabloko said Mitrokhin had asked police to remove a metal barrier so that protesters could gather around the monument to poet Alexander Griboyedov in central Moscow. When police refused, he moved it himself.

"I don't consider myself guilty," Mitrokhin said in a statement. "It was a provocation by the police following a political order."

(AP, Reuters)

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