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Russian Police Arrest 82-Year-Old Activist

Russian police have detained at least 30 anti-government protesters in Moscow, including a prize-winning 82-year-old human rights activist.

Opposition demonstrators gathered in central Moscow's Triumfalnaya square Thursday in support of their constitutional right to freedom of assembly.

They shouted slogans against Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, saying he has reversed democratic reform.

News reports from Moscow say 82-year-old Russian dissident Lyudmila Alexeyeva was among those arrested.  She is one of this year's recipients of the European Parliament's Sakharov prize for freedom of thought.  She is a founding member of the Moscow Helsinki group, one of Russia's oldest human rights organizations.

A White House statement issued Thursday says the Obama administration is dismayed that Russian authorities prevented citizens from exercising their right to assemble peacefully.

The statement says freedom of speech and assembly are universal rights that all governments should recognize and defend.

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