Saturday, November 24, 2007

Garry Kasparov is a bigger champion than ever

From Google's AFP news:

Russian opposition leader Kasparov jailed after demo
10 hours ago

MOSCOW (AFP) — Opposition leader and chess legend Garry Kasparov was jailed for five days Saturday after being arrested during a protest against President Vladimir Putin a week before parliamentary elections.

He was sentenced for organising an unsanctioned march and refusing to obey police orders, but told reporters the charges were "unfounded".

"What happened in court today looks like something unthinkable. Procedure was grossly violated, naturally I will appeal, but there can be no talk of justice anymore," he said in comments broadcast by the Moscow Echo radio.

The arrest came during a march in central Moscow by members of The Other Russia coalition, which is led by Kasparov and brings together radical leftwingers, moderates and liberal reformers opposed to Putin's policies.

Kasparov and one of his bodyguards were grabbed by riot police and forced into a police bus which then drove them away from the scene where hundreds of opposition activists were in a tense standoff with security forces.

"Freedom! Freedom!" supporters shouted after the bus, AFP journalists said.

Kasparov was also arrested last April after an opposition march in central Moscow was violently dispersed by riot police.

"We were posing no threat to public order," he told journalists Saturday after interior ministry forces surrounded him and his supporters.

"We wanted to peacefully march to the election commission. The powers that be are simply afraid of people who express their dissent."

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