Putin's Assurances To The Contrary, Protesters Are Beaten And Detained
Rahvusvahelised uudised 02 Jun 2010  EWR
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Police detain a participant during demonstrations in Moscow on May 31.
Kristina Gorelik, Richard Solash, RFE/RL

MOSCOW -- Well over 500 protesters gathered outside Moscow's Mayakovskaya subway station on May 31, many chanting slogans calling for the rule of law and a shakeup of Russia's "power vertical," the informal system of state control that emerged under Vladimir Putin.

Aleksandr Artemyev, a journalist and activist for the opposition Solidarity movement, was one of them. Today, he is hospitalized with injuries sustained when police tried to take him into custody.

"My arm is broken in three places," he said in a phone interview with RFE/RL's Russian Service. "I'm going to spend at least 10 days at the hospital and will have to wear a cast for three months."

Artemyev was one of more than 100 protesters who were forcibly detained in Moscow. Many were beaten by police officers and shoved into waiting police buses shortly after the rally began. More than 50 were taken into custody at a parallel protest in St. Petersburg led by the banned National Bolshevik Party. Still others were detained at a protest in the southern city of Kemerovo.

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