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Russian Rally Sanctioned in Support of Moscow Riot Suspects

© RIA Novosti . Eugeny Biyatov / Go to the photo bankPeople on trial over last year’s clashes with police
People on trial over last year’s clashes with police - Sputnik International
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Moscow City Hall has authorized a march in support of people on trial over last year’s clashes with police at an anti-Kremlin rally, Russian opposition activists said Thursday.

MOSCOW, October 24 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow City Hall has authorized a march in support of people on trial over last year’s clashes with police at an anti-Kremlin rally, Russian opposition activists said Thursday.

The city government has sanctioned a plan for up to 20,000 protesters to walk through downtown Moscow from Pushkin Square to Turgenev Square on Sunday, according to opposition figurehead Sergei Udaltsov’s Twitter feed, run by his supporters.

The rally is in support of activists facing jail sentences over rioting that broke out during an opposition rally on Bolotnaya Square in May 2012.

Two rally goers were jailed and 12 are currently on trial over the Bolotnaya clashes.

Police said the clashes were instigated by protest leaders, including Udaltsov, who is under house arrest. The opposition says police provoked the violence by forcing protesters into a bottleneck.

Organizers struggled to get a permit for Sunday’s rally, with the initial application for a longer route and higher maximum turnout rejected by City Hall on the grounds that it would disrupt traffic.

The opposition movement routinely locks horns with city authorities over rally permits, which protest leaders say is political pressure, though City Hall denies it.

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