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Russian Police Detain Prominent Human Rights Activists


Russian police have detained about 20 human rights activists who demonstrated in Moscow Wednesday against what they called an official campaign against non-governmental organizations.

Those detained were among a group of 60 protesters who had received permission to demonstrate in Lubyanka Square, but later moved to the front of the headquarters of the Federal Security Service, the successor to the KGB The detainees include the leader of the movement For Human Rights, Lev Ponomaryov; the head of the Memorial Human Rights Center, Oleg Orlov; and Human Rights Institute Director Valentin Gefter.

The activists were protesting recently adopted legislation restricting the rights of non-governmental groups in Russia, and television documentaries attempting to portray group members as maintaining close ties with foreign intelligence services.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.