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Arrested Protesters Released After Weekend Rally

About 60 protesters arrested at an unsanctioned rally in support of freedom of assembly Saturday have been released, police said, RIA-Novosti reported.

Police said the protesters they arrested unfolded posters and banners, shouted slogans, and lit fireworks, one of which hit a police officer and burned his face.

Among those arrested was Other Russia Leader Edward Limonov. Limonov and a number of other protesters were charged with violating article 20.2 of the administrative code, which prohibits violating rules governing protests and rallies. The charge carries a possible fine of up to 1000 rubles ($29).

About 200 Activists gathered on Triumfalnaya Ploshchad to support Article 31 of the Constitution, which guarantees the freedom of assembly. The protest was part of the Strategy 31 campaign, which regularly seeks to draw attention to the cause by holding unsanctioned rallies on the 31st day of each month. About 100 members of the press and bloggers were also present at the rally.

Separate unsanctioned rallies in support of Article 31 were also held in St. Petersburg and Nizhni Novgorod Saturday, Interfax reported. About 15 activists were arrested in St. Petersburg as they chanted slogans or attempted to throw flyers near a metro station, and one person tried to pitch a tent. About 150 people participated in the rally.

Estimates for attendance at the Nizhni Novgorod rally varied, with police pegging the total at 50 and organizers claiming as many as 100 participants.

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