Thousands of anti-Putin protesters march in Moscow

Russian opposition protesters some holding portraits of political prisoners shout anti-Putin slogans as they march through a street next to the Kremlin in Moscow on Wednesday, June 12, 2013.Thousands of Russian opposition activists are marching through Moscow decrying President Vladimir Putin's authoritarian rule and calling for the release of people they consider political prisoners. Wednesday's march is in support of 27 people who face charges related to a protest that turned violent on the eve of Putin's inauguration more than a year ago. The banner reads liberty to the captives on May 6! for our and your freedom! ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO — AP Photo

Russian opposition protesters some holding portraits of political prisoners shout anti-Putin slogans as they march through a street next to the Kremlin in Moscow on Wednesday, June 12, 2013.Thousands of Russian opposition activists are marching through Moscow decrying President Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian rule and calling for the release of people they consider political prisoners. Wednesday’s march is in support of 27 people who face charges related to a protest that turned violent on the eve of Putin’s inauguration more than a year ago. The banner reads liberty to the captives on May 6! for our and your freedom!
ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO — AP Photo

Published: June 12, 2013

— Thousands of Russian opposition activists marched through Moscow on Wednesday, decrying President Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian rule and calling for the release of people they consider political prisoners.

The march on Russia Day, a national holiday, was to show support for 27 people arrested after a protest turned violent on the eve of Putin’s inauguration more than a year ago. Sixteen of the defendants have remained in jail pending trial on charges that could send them to prison for up to 10 years.

The arrests, especially those of ordinary Russians who had joined the anti-Putin rallies for the first time and who in some cases seemed to have been grabbed at random, appeared to have been part of Kremlin efforts to deter people from joining any future protests. Continue reading

Syria: at least 200 killed in Hama province massacre, say activists

If confirmed, killings in village of Tremseh would represent single biggest massacre since uprising began

, The Guardian, Thursday 12 July 2012
Syria: government troops participate in a live fire exercise. Activists say more than 200 people have been killed in a massacre in Hama province. Photograph: AP

[Syria: government troops participate in a live fire exercise. Activists say more than 200 people have been killed in a massacre in Hama province. Photograph: AP]

Syrian government troops and a pro-regime militia have killed more than 200 people, mostly civilians, in a village near the city of Hama, opposition activists reported in the early hours of Friday morning.

The massacre is said to have taken place in the village of Tremseh, starting early Thursday morning, when government forces are alleged to have surrounded the village and opened fire with mortars and artillery. Then an Alawite pro-government militia, the Shabiha, are reported to have moved into Tremseh and started carrying out executions.

A statement by the Hama Revolutionary Council said: “More than 220 people fell today in Tremseh. They died from bombardment by tanks and helicopters, artillery shelling and summary executions.

“It appears that Alawite militiamen from surrounding villages descended on Tremseh after its rebel defenders pulled out, and started killing the people. Whole houses have been destroyed and burned from the shelling,” Fadi Sameh, an opposition activist from Tremseh, told Reuters.

Sameh said he had left the town before the reported massacre but was in touch with residents.

“Every family in the town seems to have had members killed. We have names of men, women and children from countless families,” he said, adding that many of the bodies were taken to a local mosque. Continue reading