Moscow rally urges release of opposition activist

AP News
Posted: Dec 29, 2011 2:53 PM
Moscow rally urges release of opposition activist

Several hundred demonstrators have rallied in downtown Moscow to urge the release of a prominent Russian opposition activist and other political prisoners.

Sergei Udaltsov, the leader of the Left Front movement, has been in custody since the fraud-tainted Dec. 4 parliamentary election. He first was held on claims of staging an unsanctioned rally and then sentenced Sunday to another 10 days in jail on charges of resisting police.

Udaltsov has denied the charges and spent much of the month on a hunger strike.

Thursday's demonstration wasn't sanctioned by authorities, but police didn't intervene.

Russia has been rocked by massive protests against election fraud, which have dented the authority of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who wants to extend his 12-year rule by reclaiming the presidency in March.