Close to 1,400 people gathered in Moscow at the weekend to demand free and fair elections were arrested by Russian police. A crackdown of such a scale is the biggest in recent times.
About 3,500 people took part in the unauthorised protests after prominent opposition candidates were blocked from taking part in the city elections.
Police used batons on protesters as they tried to gather outside city hall. There were also some unconfirmed reports of injuries to the demonstrators.
Mass protests have hit Moscow after the living standards of general public declined, and this has also hit President Vladimir Putin’s approval ratings.
A week ago close to 22,000 people took part sanctioned protests. After these protests investigators raided the homes and headquarters of a number of disqualified candidates.
Prominent politicians were jailed for 30 days for calling out frest agitations.
The US Spokesperson at the Moscow Embassy tweeted:
Detention of over 1000 peaceful protestors in #Russia and use of disproportionate police force undermine rights of citizens to participate in the democratic process.
Free elections & peaceful assembly are guaranteed in the🇷🇺constitution and Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
— Rebecca Ross (@USEmbRuPress) July 28, 2019
Elections to Moscow’s 45-seat legislative body, currently controlled by Putin led United Russia party. The elections for the body is due in six week. Opposition and Independent candidates that don’t enjoy support of the state say they have been made to jump through countless hoops in order to get on the ballot for the city polls.
Local polls are a rare opportunity for dissenting voices to participate in political life as anti-Putin parties have been squeezed out of parliament over Putin’s two decades rule.
Source : Various