Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Labor Day Detainees Declared ‘Prisoners of Conscience’

vranski_team / Vkontakte

The scores of demonstrators arrested at Labor Day processions in Russia this week have been declared prisoners of conscience, the Amnesty International human rights organization said on Thursday.

Russian riot police and national guardsmen detained 131 people during May Day protests on Wednesday, sometimes using extreme force to take anti-government activists into custody. Most of the detentions took place in St. Petersburg, where 68 people were taken into custody after several hundred people took to the streets to call for fair elections.

“All participants of peaceful demonstrations on May 1… are prisoners of conscience who suffered for exercising their right to freedom of peaceful assembly,” AI said in a statement.

Among those detained were two activists associated with opposition leader Alexei Navalny and exiled former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who received 10-day jail sentences during a late-night court hearing.

Amnesty Russia director Natalia Zvyagina said the “mass detentions, defiant police cruelty [and] night courts are becoming the face of modern Russia.”

“The authorities of the country proved unable to honor their commitments to respect freedom of assembly, even when they themselves ‘approve’ these actions,” she said.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more