28 alleged Putin insulters freed from police custody

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Thursday, January 27, 2005Krakow

About twenty eight human rights activists who had been imprisoned on Wednesday, January 26, 2005 have now mostly been freed from police custody following rapid international solidarity appeals. The activists had been imprisoned in relation to their protest in the main square of Krakow, Poland, against the presence of Vladimir Putin at the ceremonies for the 60th anniversary of the freeing of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

At least two people were officially charged, under Article 136 of Polish criminal law, with the offence of insulting a head of state, namely, Vladimir Putin, but it remains unclear how many people in total have been charged with this offence.

Vladimir Putin, who is suspected to be responsible for war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity in Chechnya, was neither detained nor arrested during his visit to Poland.

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