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White House Concerned About Russian Detentions

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says it is troubled by reports that dozens of people detained during demonstrations in Moscow and other Russian cities have been mistreated, including accusations that some were beaten by police.

It's also expressing concern over a weekend raid and criminal investigation against the organizers and activists of the "Strategy 31" campaign. The Russian government's beleaguered opposition holds peaceful demonstrations of the last day of each month with 31 days to call attention to the 31st Article of Russia's Constitution, which guarantees the right to free assembly.

National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor (vee-'TOR) says those steps amount to intimidation of those who exercise their fundamental constitutional rights as citizens. He urged the Russian government to uphold the freedoms of expression and assembly for all citizens.