facebook
twitter
search
search

Rights group wary of Russian police action

May 9, 2012 at 11:09 AM
| License Photo

MOSCOW, May 9 (UPI) -- Human Rights Watch said it is concerned by reports of police brutality in Russia amid protests against President Vladimir Putin.

The rights organization says "tens of thousands of protestors" flocked to downtown Moscow on the eve of the inauguration for Putin. Putin secured a third non-consecutive term as president during a March election that was allegedly tilted in his favor.

Human Rights Watch said Russian police used rubber clubs against demonstrators. Hugh Williamson, director of Europe and Central Asian affairs at the rights organization, said while some protesters were out of line, police had reportedly acted aggressively.

"We are also concerned about allegations of police brutality, including beatings and causing unnecessary pain and suffering," he said in a statement.

State-run news agency RIA Novosti said around 50,000 demonstrators turned out to protest ahead of Putin's inauguration.

Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev said more than 400 demonstrators were arrested during the weekend protests. He suggested the demonstrations were staged for the benefit of the West.

Putin's spokesman suggested police were too gentle with demonstrators.

Putin, during his inauguration, vowed to protect the basic freedoms of Russian citizens.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Maine man dead after shooting firework off head, police say
Greeks vote overwhelmingly to reject creditors' bailout
Russian resupply spacecraft docks onto ISS to deliver needed provisions
'Serial stowaway' arrested again at Chicago's O'Hare, Midway airports
Third disturbance in four days erupts at Arizona prison