Hundreds of people gathered in a Moscow park demanding the release of people arrested at political protests.
The prisoners include 25 activists charged following the opposition march and rally in Bolotnaya Square on May 6, 2012 and members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot. Opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov is under house arrest.
“We are holding this protest to prevent the possibility of mass political repressions that have already happened in Russia’s history. The most horrifying happened in the 1930s, when there were tens of millions
of victims. We don’t want the Gulag happening again. We don’t want tragedies to be repeated. We are here to say this,” explained Gennady Gudkov an opposition leader and ex-deputy in Russia’s State Duma.
Referring to the political prisoners, civil rights activist Lev Ponomarev said: “If those people get sentences of several years, then Russia will be a step closer to being a totalitarian state. We should resist that and that’s why we are here.”
Unsanctioned opposition protesters face larger fines due to a law passed in June.
Some people at Saturday’s demonstration in Novopushkinsky Park donated money to help the prisoners.