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Police Detain Dozens at Opposition Rally in Moscow | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Police officers detain a protester in downtown Moscow on March 26, 2017. (AP)

Russian police announced on Sunday that they have detained dozens of opposition protesters, a week after hundreds of others were arrested during a rally organised by leading Putin critic Alexei Navalny.

“Twenty-nine people were detained by police for breaches of public order,” the city police’s press service said.

An AFP journalist at the scene confirmed he witnessed around 30 people being detained.

The police presence was notably heavy in central Moscow on Sunday.

Pedestrian access to Red Square was only through metal detectors and police blocked off Pushkin Square, traditionally a gathering point for demonstrations.

About 20 people were arrested while trying to conduct a march on Triumphalnaya Square, which is adjacent to a main avenue, and seven others were detained at Manezhnaya Square, which is adjacent to the Kremlin, according to police figures reported by the state news agency Tass.

Last week’s protests, in which more than 1,000 people were arrested in Moscow alone, were the largest opposition show of defiance in several years.