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Activists to Rally in Support of Political Prisoners

A rally in support of political prisoners will take place on New Pushkin Square on Tuesday evening to coincide with a national day of remembrance for victims of political repression.

City Hall granted permission for the rally, which will run from 7 to 9 p.m. and has a maximum sanctioned turnout of 2,000 people, after an application was lodged by rights groups including the Moscow Helsinki Group, Memorial and For Human Rights.

In an entry on his LiveJournal blog, Solidarity activist Sergei Davidis called the timing of the rally especially appropriate, citing the recent abduction of opposition activist Leonid Razvozzhayev in Kiev and his "absurd guilty plea."

Meanwhile, Memorial blamed authorities for embarking on a crackdown on its opponents, likening a recent wave of detentions to the way the opposition was dealt with in the 1920s and 1930s.

"In its dialogue with the opposition, the government is determined to use the language of repression, arrests, courts and labor camps," the organization wrote in a statement, Interfax reported.

Memorial also said on its website that a deputy mayor in the town of Kirovsk, Murmansk region, warned locals against organizing rallies on Tuesday.

In a separate statement timed to coincide with Tuesday's national day of remembrance, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin shared his thoughts on repression — but he referred exclusively to events in Russia's past.

"In the 20th century, people of all professions, nationalities, layers of society and religions have fallen victim to repressions," Sobyanin said.

"The memory of these people is immortalized in places on the map of Moscow connected with the most controversial and complex times in our country's history."

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