Garry Kasparov Arrested, Beaten at Pussy Riot Protest in Moscow

6:51 AM PST 08/17/2012 by Jordan Zakarin
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The Russian chess grandmaster and opposition leader was detained and roughed up by police while speaking with journalists.

Garry Kasparov was among the more than 30 people arrested at a protest in Moscow over the guilty verdict handed down to three members of the punk band Pussy Riot.

The former chess world champion and current opposition politician was speaking with journalists when he was cornered by police, according to his Facebook page.

"Garry Kasparov has just been arrested outside the Moscow courthouse where the Pussy Riot trial is taking place," a first post announced. "He was not there to protest, simply to attend, and the police cornered him and dragged him into the police van."

Once the page's editors made contact with Kasparov, they issued an update, saying in part: "He is at the police station. He was beaten but says he is okay. He isn't sure what will happen next. It seems the police are waiting for orders from above. He says he was standing calmly speaking with journalists when police pushed through and grabbed him."

Kasparov told the Russian news agency Interfax, “At first I did not realize why they arrested me -- I was giving interview to a journalist. But then they put me in a van and brutally beat me.” He also said he managed to bite the hand of one of the officers.

Kasparov has long been staunchly opposed to Russian President Vladimir Putin, forming the United Civil Front in 2005 and briefly running for president with his second political party, Other Russia, in 2007. He was arrested and sentenced to five days in jail in November 2007 for resisting arrest at an anti-Putin protest.

 

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