Germany urges Russia to swiftly release Moscow protesters

Servicemen of the Russian National Guard detain a participant of an unsanctioned rally urging fair elections in downtown Moscow on August 3, 2019. (File photo: AFP)

Germany is calling on Russia to release the protesters detained during a rally for independent and opposition candidates in Moscow.

The Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that “the arrests are not in proportion to the peaceful character of the protests, which were directed against the exclusion of candidates” from the city council election in Moscow.

Russia’s Interior Ministry said police detained 600 people Saturday at the unsanctioned protest.

A previous demonstration a week ago over the candidates’ exclusion from the Sept. 8 local vote resulted in nearly 1,400 arrests.

The German Foreign Ministry said Russia is breaching international commitments to uphold peaceful assembly and free speech.

It said Germany “expects the swift release of all peaceful protesters” and the inclusion of independent candidates who meet all legal requirements in the Moscow election.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 14:05 - GMT 11:05