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Civil activists organizing new rally on Triumfalnaya Square

Moscow RallyMOSCOW. Jan 11 () - Opposition and rights activists will request the go-ahead for a new rally in defense of freedom of assembly on Moscow's Triumfalnaya Square set for January 31.

"We will file a request with City Hall on January 16," head of Moscow's Helsinki Group Lyudmila Alexeyeva, an organizer of the rally, told Interfax on Tuesday.

As the case with the December 31 rally, the request for January 31 will be filed by a large group of opposition and rights campaigners, she said.

"We will confer on the upcoming rally on January 14. As demonstrators, who gathered on the square on December 31, were detained and robustly treated, some may think better and refrain from joining the group of organizers of the January 31 rally," Alexeyeva said.

"I think such rallies must be continued. The tradition set must be supported," the rights veteran said.

Alexeyeva also said that she would "sound global alarm" over opposition activists' detentions and arrests after the New Year's rally.

"I am gathering eyewitnesses' accounts of how Nemtsov, Yashin, Kosyakin and Tor were detained, as well as materials connected with the detentions of picketers near the detection center on Simferopolsky Bulvar," she said.

The evidence gathered will be referred to the council of experts of the Russian human rights commissioner. "We will also apply to the Pubic Chamber and to the presidential human rights council," Alexeyeva said.

Civil activists gathered for a rally on Moscow's Triumfalnaya Square on December 31, 2010 after securing an official permit. Several dozen participants were detained after it and courts sentenced activists of the Solidarity movement Boris Nemtsov and Ilya Yashin, representative of the Left Front movement Konstantin Kosyakin and activist of the Movement Against Illegal Immigration Vladimir Tor to administrative arrests from five to 15 days in a detention center on Simferopolsky Bulvar.

Opposition leader Eduard Limonov had been planning to hold a rally of his own on Triumfalnaya Square on December 31. But the rally was not permitted and Limonov was detained as he was walking out of his apartment building on December 31. Other Russia activist Kirill Minulin was detained with Limonov and sentenced to 15-day arrest.

Amnesty International on January 8 declared the five Russian opposition leaders, detained in Moscow on December 31 and sentenced to administrative arrests - Nemtsov, Yashin, Kosyakin, Limonov and Manulin, "prisoners of conscience."

Nemtsov and Limonov remain in jail.

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