Moscow police detained about 30 people, including a controversial Russian opposition leader, on Wednesday as they attempted to hold an unauthorized protest in the city center, a local police spokesperson said.
The spokesman said police officials detained 26 people who gathered on Triumfalnaya Square, where an authorized event calling for people to donate blood for victims of this week's deadly terrorist attacks took place that left 39 dead and injured scores of others.
Participants in the unauthorized rally at Triumfalnaya Square reportedly called on the country's authorities to observe the Russian Constitution, which guarantees the freedom to assemble. The opposition group gathers on the last day of every month that has 31 days in line with the Russian Constitution's 31st point guaranteeing citizens the right to assemble.
The leader of The Other Russia opposition movement, Eduard Limonov, was among those detained, the spokesperson said. The Moscow Mayor's Office accused him and another opposition member, Konstantin Kosyakin, of trying to destabilize the situation in the city amid mourning for victims of Monday's blasts in the Moscow subway.
A statement issued by the Mayor's Office said society would give "moral evaluation" to the protesters' actions.
"The Moscow government warns: in case of attempting to hold public events that have not been authorized by the city's authorities, measures would be taken towards their organizers and participants in strict line with Russian law," the statement said.
It said Limonov and Kosyakin were warned many times that they should not stage unsanctioned rallies, but continued to call people to the streets.
According to the Kasparov.ru opposition website, dozens of protesters were detained on Wednesday in other Russian cities, including St. Petersburg, Voronezh, Omsk, and Vladivostok, while trying to hold meetings that police said were not unauthorized by authorities.
Another public gathering on Wednesday with more than 3,000 participants, called "Without Words," saw thousands of candles being lit in tribute to those who died in the deadly Moscow subway blasts. This public mourning event was authorized by city officials.
The solemn event was held at the Stone of Solovki, a memorial to the victims of political repression, in Moscow's Lubyanka Square within walking distance of the eponymous metro station where the first bomb attack took place.
MOSCOW, March 31 (RIA Novosti)