Several participants in a peaceful action detained in the centre of Moscow


During an action entitled: “I walk around Moscow[1]: Excursion around OMON’s [the riot police’s] places of combat prowess”, four participants were detained, including the head of the movement “For Human Rights” Lev Ponomaryov.

Ponomaryov and the other human rights activists were planning a tour of the places where the riot squads dispersed people attempting to take part in the “March of those in dissent” [“Marsh nyesoglashnykh”] on 14 April. They were detained in the underpass to Rozhdestvensky Boulevard where they wanted to begin the excursion.

As the Head of the Moscow Helsinki Group Ludmila Alexeeva reported, those detained were not carrying loudspeakers or placards.   

Lev Ponomaryov says that they were detained without any reason being given. He reports: “An OMON group unceremoniously prevented us from moving. They stood in our path, without identifying themselves or saying what they want, grabbed us roughly and shoved us into their van, this being without any doubt in violation of the law on the police”. He said that those detained – he and one other man, and two women were in the Krasnoselsky police station.

Interfax reports that the detentions were confirmed by a source in the law enforcement agenices who said that the action had been attended by around twenty people.

The event was aimed to have a shared walk with no political views being expressed publicly, no loudspeakers or banners. The idea was that nothing should be done to allow the authorities view the action as a picket or rally. Lev Ponomaryov himself said that he was certain that the enforcement bodies had no grounds for using force against people walking along the boulevard.


Based on information from

[1]  This is the title and general refrain of a very well-known song from Soviet days (translator)

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