In Portugal, hundreds of people demonstrated outside the Soviet Embassy in Lisbon on Monday (31 July) against the recent trials of dissidents in Moscow.
In Portugal, hundreds of people demonstrated outside the Soviet Embassy in Lisbon on Monday (31 July) against the recent trials of dissidents in Moscow. The demonstrations was the latest in a series of protests throughout Europe and the United States following last month's court cases.
SYNOPSIS: The protestors assembled around the statue of Antonio Jose de Almeida, one of the first presidents of the Portuguese republic, in the centre of the city. The marchers then made their way towards the Soviet Embassy, shouting slogans and singing. Their placards called on the Soviet authorities to release the two men convicted in Moscow in July. Alexander Ginzburg was sentenced to eight years in the labour camp for agitation against the state and Anatoly Shcharansky, charged with espionage, was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment. Both men were members of the "Helsinki" group, formed in 1976 to monitor observance of human rights in the Soviet Union.
The demonstrators found the Soviet Embassy surrounded by police and barricades. Chanting "Down with the Russians" the protestors gathered in front of the embassy under the watchful eye of the police. The activities of the "Helsinki" group in the Soviet Union and the trials of many of its members have been widely publicised in Europe and the United States. The movement took its name from the 1976 Helsinki conference, when the Soviet Union signed an international agreement on human rights.