Duncan Bayne

In 35 Days this will be NZ

Kasparov Gets 5 Days in Jail for Marching – New York Times

[quote]MOSCOW, Nov. 24 ? Garry Kasparov, the former chess champion and opposition leader, was arrested Saturday and sentenced to five days in jail after trying to lead a march to the offices of the federal election authorities.

Mr. Kasparov was taken into custody during a scuffle between protesters and security officers on the route to the offices, where he had intended to present a letter asserting that the parliamentary election on Dec. 2 was biased toward President Vladimir V. Putin?s party.

Taken into a small bus, he gave a victory sign through the back window as he was being driven away.

On Saturday night, a Moscow judge ordered him to serve five days in jail for holding an unauthorized march. City officials had given his loose opposition coalition, Other Russia, permission to conduct a rally on Saturday, but not a march.

In a statement, Mr. Kasparov said the court proceedings had been ?a choreographed farce from beginning to end.? He added, ?It was a symbol of what has happened to justice and the rule of law under Putin.?

Mr. Kasparov is one of the best-known foes of Mr. Putin, but the Kremlin has isolated him by preventing him from receiving coverage on television networks. Mr. Kasparov has in turn relied on demonstrations to draw attention to his criticisms of Mr. Putin. He was arrested at a march in April, though he received only a fine, not jail time.

More than 1,000 people showed up on Saturday to hear Mr. Kasparov and other coalition leaders speak at the rally, and a few hundred then tried to march to the offices of the Central Election Commission, which is overseeing the parliamentary elections.

Special police officers in riot gear swarmed around the marchers and kept them from continuing. The police arrested some people in addition to Mr. Kasparov and other coalition leaders.

The police were widely criticized for violently suppressing protests by the coalition earlier this year, but appeared to be exercising more restraint on Saturday.[/quote]

Isn’t it rather eerily like New Zealand is becoming…..and the apologists say we are mean to compare Clark to Lenin!

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