Saturday, April 14, 2007

The arrest of Kasparov

The famous chess player Garry Kasparov was arrested among others at a protest in Moscow. They were arrested for holding a rally that had been banned because the space had been reserved for a pro-Kremlin group simply to block Hasparov's group from using it.

Kasparov and some other activists were detained near Pushkin Square almost upon their arrival and were placed on a police bus. As he was being driven off, Kasparov managed to shout out an open window, "This regime is criminal. This is a police state. They arrest people everywhere."

His lawyer later said Kasparov had been charged with "shouting anti-government slogans in the presence of a large group of people," the Russian news agency Interfax reported.

He was released late in the evening after being fined $39 for violation of public order.

Around the same time that Kasparov was arrested, other protesters began approaching the police who had cordoned off Pushkin Square.

"Why are you not allowing people to get together and hold rallies as the constitution provides?" one man, who later identified himself as Yevgeny Shimenkov, 67, said to an officer.

"The constitution is for you. For us, there are orders of our commander," the policeman replied.

"You must know your orders are criminal. Your commander is a criminal and you are his accomplices," Shimenkov said.

We hear your cries, Kasparov.