Russian police arrest protesters at nationwide anti-corruption rallies
- Author: Megan Austin Mar 27, 2017,
Mar 27, 2017, 0:48
Russia's main opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, has been arrested at an anti-corruption protest he organised in the capital, Moscow.
A wave of unsanctioned rallies swept across Russian Federation on Sunday to protest corruption in the government of President Vladimir Putin, in a nationwide show of defiance not seen in years, and one the Kremlin had tried in vain to prevent with bans and warnings. There were also isolated incidents of protestors clashing with riot police and shouting "Shame!" and "Russia will be free!"
Navalny called for the protests after publishing a detailed report this month accusing Medvedev of controlling a property empire through a shadowy network of non-profit organisations.
Police also searched FBK offices over alleged incitement to hatred, and "Everyone was detained and brought to the police", the organisation's spokeswoman Kira Iarmych said.
"I'm happy that so many people came out [onto the streets] from the east [of the country] to Moscow", Mr Navalny said, moments before he was detained.
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In the official declaration that the police published already 3 days ago, it was written that those who attended the demonstration "endangered their personal security".
TV pictures showed demonstrators chanting "Down with Putin!", "Russia without Putin!" and "Putin is a thief!".
The Russian authorities claimed that after events that Navalry led in the past, he won't be permitted to run in the elections but Navalry asserted that he has done nothing wrong and is being persecuted for his political beliefs.
Navalny reportedly organized the protests, which the BBC said were illegal, as demonstrators urged the nation's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, to resign following allegations of corruption. "We are charged with disobeying the police", Roman Rubanov, director of Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation, told Reuters by phone from a Moscow police station. State media broadly ignored Sunday's protests.
Elsewhere, at a rally in the far eastern city of Vladivostok, a Reuters reporter saw 30 people being detained after unfurling banners reading "The prime minister should answer".