Human Rights Activists Arrested At U2 Gig

by Mick Meaney

On Wednesday, 25th August, Russian police detained a number of Amnesty International workers outside a U2 gig in Moscow.

The activists were handing out leaflets and collecting signatures outside the Luzhniki stadium , believing they had the correct permits but were detained because they did not have the necessary authorisation, a police spokeswoman said. They were released after a few hours.

They were asking U2 fans to sign petitions urging Russian authorities to solve the murders of journalist Anna Politkovskaya and activist Natalya Estemirova.

Greenpeace director director Ivan Blokov told the media: “Our activities were agreed with U2’s management, so we are very much surprised.

“The tents of Amnesty International, Greenpeace and the ONE foundation were removed by police, and we were not allowed to collect signatures and to talk to people. It was a typical publicity event, which this organisation has carried out in every city where U2 has performed.”

Sergei Nikitin, head of Amnesty International’s Russian branch, said: “I am very sad about what happened. I do not know if Bono knew about what happened to us, but I fear that he did not.”