Amnesty Activists Detained at U2 Concert

Five Amnesty International activists were detained by police yesterday before U2′s first ever Russian show in Moscow.

The detained activists had been holding placards inside the concert venue and collecting signatures for the ‘Demand Dignity’ campaign, which aims to end the human rights violations that drive and deepen global poverty. They were trying to raise awareness about human rights and collecting signatures to a petition.  The Amnesty International official concert stall was also shut down.

Amnesty is present while U2 performs the European leg of their 360 tour.

And while Amnesty International’s activists were invited by U2 to join their European leg of their 360° tour, police officers ignored the activists’ protestations that they were there invited and forced them to close their stalls.

Although no-one resisted the police’s demands to close down the Amnesty International stall, Amnesty’s Moscow office staff member and four volunteers were taken to a local police station. They were ordered to provide a written explanation for their actions, issued with an official warning for organizing a public action for which no prior official permission had been obtained, and released over an hour later.

Sadly, this is not an isolated incident; rather, it reflects the continuing difficult climate in Russia today for people seeking to express views that the authorities regard as difficult, dissenting or sensitive. Amnesty International is concerned that the rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression are restricted in Russia for members of the political opposition and human rights activists; we are also concerned that Russian authorities such disallow such activities unless they take place with their explicit sanction, and crack down hard on those whom they regard as violators.

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14 thoughts on “Amnesty Activists Detained at U2 Concert

  1. Could it be any clearer that U2 is welcome only for its financial boost, not for its message?

  2. Could it be any clearer that U2 is welcome only for its financial boost, not for its message?

  3. It is sad to hear stuff like this. U2 is all about human rights and fighting for equality. Various volunteer groups have been part of U2 shows for the past few years, and to my knowledge the whole 360 Tour (including last year's European and North American leg) have gone without any issues. And now, coming to Russia for the very first time such an incident has to take place? I guess Russia still has a long way to go….

  4. It is sad to hear stuff like this. U2 is all about human rights and fighting for equality. Various volunteer groups have been part of U2 shows for the past few years, and to my knowledge the whole 360 Tour (including last year’s European and North American leg) have gone without any issues. And now, coming to Russia for the very first time such an incident has to take place? I guess Russia still has a long way to go….

  5. I didn't realise that the Russian police were such stern and perceptive music critics. I reckon the last decent album that U2 did was "All That You Can't Leave Behind". It's been downhill ever since.

  6. I didn’t realise that the Russian police were such stern and perceptive music critics. I reckon the last decent album that U2 did was “All That You Can’t Leave Behind”. It’s been downhill ever since.

  7. I can't help but acknowledge the irony here. Our fellow Amnesty activists almost became prisoners of conscience with an urgent action case of their own!

  8. I can’t help but acknowledge the irony here. Our fellow Amnesty activists almost became prisoners of conscience with an urgent action case of their own!

  9. I was at the concert myself and everyone had to move away from inside the stadium ring fence area about 2 hours before gates opened …

  10. I was at the concert myself and everyone had to move away from inside the stadium ring fence area about 2 hours before gates opened …

  11. LOL !!

    Serves Damn good for the Amnesty Idiots for trying to poke their finger in to other countries affairs – Why don't you look after your own countries of the west who provides you with donations from blood money ?? Why not look at the HR violations happening in the USA and UK etc ??? I guess your back sides scratch when you see peaceful countries and want to create some trouble !!

  12. LOL !!

    Serves Damn good for the Amnesty Idiots for trying to poke their finger in to other countries affairs – Why don’t you look after your own countries of the west who provides you with donations from blood money ?? Why not look at the HR violations happening in the USA and UK etc ??? I guess your back sides scratch when you see peaceful countries and want to create some trouble !!