US urges Russia to free ‘peaceful protesters’ as hundreds are arrested


Police officers detain protesters during a rally in central Moscow on March 26, 2017. (Photos by AFP)

says it is
“troubled” by ’s detention of hundreds of demonstrators, calling
on Moscow to release “peaceful protesters.”

The Sunday
call was made by State Department spokesman Mark Toner after reports
that over 700 people had been arrested at an anti-corruption
demonstration in the capital Moscow earlier in the day.
“We call
on the government of Russia to immediately release all peaceful
protesters,” Toner said, voicing concerns that Russian opposition figure
Alexei Navalny was also among those nabbed.
latest number of those arrested was announced by a website called
OVD-Info, tasked with keeping track of the detention of activists.
Russian police said earlier that 500 had been arrested.
Navalny’s supporters reportedly expect to see him appear at a court of law on Monday.
The Kremlin said on Friday that plans to hold a protest in the center of Moscow were an illegal provocation.

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