More than 500 arrested in a march to request free elections in Moscow


The demonstration against the veto to independent candidates in the municipalities had not been authorized

More than 500 people were arrested this Saturday by police in Moscow during an opposition protest to ask for free elections. According to the NGO OVD-Info, specialized in monitoring demonstrations, the arrests took place during the three hours after the start of the rally, which had not been previously authorized, but brought together thousands of people.

The authorities tried to head the demonstration this Saturday, after the one of the previous weekend – which was authorized -, which was attended by 12,000 people, according to the police, and 22,400, according to the organization White Counter, specialized in the calculation of protesters. This Friday the Moscow police warned that they will resort to “all the necessary means to guarantee the safety of citizens, prevent and prevent the alteration of public order.” Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobianin wrote on his Twitter account on Saturday that public order will be guaranteed in accordance with the law, because “citizens are being urged to attend an unauthorized rally.”

The OVD Info portal explained that those arrested were taken to the police vans deployed in the immediate vicinity of the City Hall, in the heart of Moscow, where protesters congregated. Previously, the agents had registered the apartments and the headquarters of candidates opposing the elections of the Russian capital, scheduled for September 8. Registration began Friday night and continued on Saturday, as reported by several of the affected opponents in their Twitter and Facebook social media accounts.

Russian police arrested, among others, opponents Dmitri Gudkov, Iván Zhdanov and Yulia Galiamina a few hours before the demonstration against the veto of independent candidates in municipal elections. “Dmitri Gudkov has been arrested,” wrote the father of the well-known opponent, Guennadi Gudkov, on his Twitter account. Galiamina published in the same social network that has also been arrested and taken to a police station in the capital, as well as Iván Zhadanov, director of the Anti-Corruption Fund, founded by Russian opposition leader Alexéi Navalni.

The electoral commission of the Russian capital has denied registration to 57 candidates, including some of the main opposition leaders. The opposition accuses the authorities of manipulating the thousands of signatures collected in recent weeks by their candidates by incorrectly transcribing them in the electronic record. Meanwhile, the electoral commission incriminates opponents to include in their lists more than 300 “dead souls” and almost 10,000 non-existent people.

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