10 Russians Detained for Commemorating Czechoslovakian Invasion
- RIA Novosti
- Aug. 26 2013 00:00
- Last edited 18:36
Moscow police said 10 protesters were detained Sunday for rallying on Moscow's iconic Red Square to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia — and the protest rally of Soviet dissidents that got the original participants jailed, exiled or forcibly committed to psychiatric institutions.
In August 1968, Soviet and Warsaw pact troops entered Czechoslovakia to quell the Prague Spring — Czechoslovakian socialist government's attempt to build "socialism with a human face." Seventy-two people got killed and hundreds were wounded, and reformist Czechoslovakian leader Alexander Dubcek was later forced to resign.
Seven Soviet dissidents, including human rights defender and poet Natalia Gorbanevskaya, rallied on Red Square to protest the invasion on August 25, 1968. Minutes after unfurling their banners, one of which read "For Your and Our Freedom," they were brutally rounded up and were later sentenced to jail, exile or forced psychiatric treatment.
Gorbanevskaya, who was "diagnosed" with schizophrenia and forcibly kept in a psychiatric hospital until 1972, headed Sunday's rally along with 10 modern-day Kremlin critics and opposition activists, according to a video posted on the Grani.ru website.
The rally was dispersed just minutes after the protesters unfurled the banner reading "For Your and Our Freedom," and 10 participants were rounded up and taken to a police station in central Moscow, according to the video.
Moscow police spokesman told RIA Novosti that the 10 were detained for "holding an unsanctioned rally." He did not specify how long they will be kept in detention and what punishment they will face.