Several dozen people were detained during a rally in support of political prisoners held near the monument to Aleksandr Griboyedov ( "Chistye Prudy" metro station) in Moscow, according to the Russian news agency.
The representative of the "New Opposition" organization announced the arrest of 40 people.
“This popular gathering had not been agreed in advance, therefore detention started immediately. As of now, more than forty people detained. 14 people in our bus. 16 in another, they were taken to the Meshchansky district police department,” one of the activists’ leaders said.
According to eyewitnesses, the police used physical force when detaining the protesters. Security officials say that the detentions were carried out on the orders of Aleksandr Makhonin, the Deputy Chief of the department to ensure the holding of mass events of Directorate of Internal Affairs in Central Administrative District.
Previously, January 4 in Moscow, Russian law enforcers detained six picketers outside the building of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation, including two women of retirement age. Later all the detainees were released without explanation.