Activists Arrested Ahead Of U2 Concert
A U2 concert in Russia on Wednesday (25Aug10) was marred by arrests after five human rights activists were detained for handing out leaflets before the show kicked off.
The Amnesty International campaigners were distributing pamphlets outside the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow and asking U2 fans to sign petitions urging Russian authorities to solve the murders of journalist Anna Politkovskaya and activist Natalya Estemirova.
The Irish rockers are long-time supporters of the human rights group.
Sergei Nikitin, the head of Amnesty International's Moscow office, claims the band's management secured the necessary permits for the activists, who have since been released, but a police spokesperson insists the campaigners didn't have proper permission.
Volunteers from U2's charity fund, the ONE campaign, and Greenpeace Russia were also said to have been escorted out of the venue.
Greenpeace director Ivan Blokov says, "We were not allowed to collect signatures and to talk to people. Our activities were agreed with U2's management, so we are very much surprised.
"I don't know if Bono knows about what happened to us. It was a typical publicity event, which this organisation has carried out in every city where U2 has performed."