Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian opposition figures not deterred by jail terms

RIA Novosti

17:19 17/01/2011 Moscow, January 17 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian opposition leaders Boris Nemtsov and Eduard Limonov said on Monday they would continue spearheading protests in Moscow, two days after they were released from prison.

Boris Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister, was sentenced to 15 days after taking part in a sanctioned demonstration in Moscow's Triumfalnaya Square on New Year's Eve. The judge said he failed to follow police instructions.

Eduard Limonov was handed a 15-day sentence for insulting police when they detained him near his home in Moscow hours before he was to lead an unsanctioned rally in a different area of the square.

"I am determined to continue struggling," Limonov told a press conference in Moscow. "They will not frighten me - a man with extensive prison experience - with 15-day sentences."

Limonov, once leader of the ultra-radical National Bolshevik Party, was jailed for four years for arms possession in 2003 but was released for good behavior halfway into his sentence.

"They tried to break me, they tried to frighten me, they tried to punish me, but they did not succeed," Nemtsov said.

Nemtsov said the liberal coalition would propose one candidate to run in the 2012 presidential election during the congress of the Party of People's Freedom in June.

The United States protested the imprisonment of the opposition figures and Amnesty International called them "prisoners of conscience."

The opposition holds protests on the last day of every month with 31 days, in honor of Article 31 of the Russian Constitution, which guarantees freedom of assembly.



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