Soviet police arrested at least 50 people who gathered in Moscow and Leningrad to demand freedom for hundreds of people they say are in prisons and psychiatric hospitals for their political beliefs, a dissident said. Dissidents had designated Sunday--the 16th anniversary of the death in prison of poet Yuri Galanskov--as the day on which they would honor Soviet political prisoners. Leningrad police arrested 36 protesters "without basis--for holding candles and reading poetry," said Muri Mityunov, a spokesman in Moscow for the Democratic Union, which bills itself as an alternative to the Communist Party. At least 14 people were arrested in Moscow, he added.
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