The German Foreign Ministry on Sunday urged Russia to immediately release protesters detained during a Moscow rally against the exclusion of independent candidates from city elections.

“The arrests are not in proportion to the peaceful charter of the protests, which were directed against the exclusion of candidates,” the Foreign Ministry said.

Russian authorities on Saturday arrested more than 800 people for participating in unauthorized protests in a violent crackdown, according to an independent monitor.

“The repeated interference with the guaranteed right of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression violates Russia’s international obligations and strongly questions the right to free and fair elections.”

For weeks, protesters have rallied against the electoral commission’s decision to disqualify several independent candidates, arguing that it represents an attempt to remove independent candidates from the race.

Read more: Opinion: The Kremlin fears its own people

Watch video 01:41

Moscow: Hundreds of protesters arrested

”No option left but to protest’

Although the electoral commission has yet to unveil the candidate list for city council elections, it said a vast majority of sponsored candidates had failed to gather the required number of signatories to participate in the electoral process.

“I had no option left but to protest,” said a 61-year-old protester, who decried the exclusion of independent candidates.

In its 2018 Democracy Index, the Economist Intelligence Unit classified Russia as an “authoritarian” country, ranking it 144 out of 168 countries, below both Cuba and Afghanistan.

Read more: ‘There is no pro-Putin majority’ in Russia

Every evening, DW’s editors send out a selection of the day’s hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.

ls/jlw (AP, AFP)

Source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

‘How have I not seen this before?’: Trump’s ‘House of Wings’ 2004 SNL skit goes viral (VIDEO)

Trump performed throughout the episode but was the centerpiece of the skit…

500 million bees drop dead in Brazil in 3 months

More than half a billion bees dropped dead in Brazil within just…

Hell freezes over? New York Times wants closer relationship with Russia, congratulates Trump

‘Russiagate’ has maintained an iron grip on American political discourse for two…

Southern California quake causes damage, injuries

Wildland firefighters pass by hospital equipment being set up outside the Ridgecrest…