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International - August 3, 2019

Police detain dozens of opposition demonstrators

Russian police taking away a demonstrator.

Dozens of opposition demonstrators were in the early hours of Saturday detained by Russian police in Moscow.

The demonstrators were among Russian opposition supporters who took to the streets in defiance of a formidable security presence, in fresh protests calling for fair elections in the capital next month.

The unauthorised march, which comes after stark warnings from Russian authorities and a crackdown on Kremlin critics, was billed as a “stroll” along Moscow’s leafy boulevards as anger grows over the refusal of officials to let popular opposition candidates run in next month’s city parliament elections.

Most of those candidates and opposition leaders are still in police detention following the last rally, as what began as a local issue has boiled over into one of the worst political conflicts of recent years.

At least 89 were detained by police about an hour into the rally, according to OVD-Info, a non-governmental organisation that operates a hotline for detainees. AFP correspondents also observed several arrests.

Lyubov Sobol, an ally of key opposition leader Alexei Navalny, was detained as she set off for the rally. “Why are you detaining me?” she shouted as riot police in helmets dragged her out of a taxi.


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