• Press Release

Mass arrests in Russia show authorities’ contempt for solidarity and rights

June 12, 2019

Russian police officers detain a protester during a march to protest against the alleged impunity of law enforcement agencies in central Moscow on June 12, 2019. - More than 200 people including opposition leader Alexei Navalny were detained as police sought to break up a peaceful Moscow rally against the alleged impunity of law enforcement agencies. Russian police in riot gear moved in against the unsanctioned march of more 1,000 people amid screams of protesters shouting "you are criminals" and "stop police terror." (Photo by Alexander NEMENOV / AFP) (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Responding to the arbitrary arrests of over 400 people in Moscow who were peacefully protesting the treatment of journalist Ivan Golunov, Denis Krivosheev, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia Office, said:

“Today’s arbitrary and often brutal arrests of over 400 peaceful protestors, including children, are a perfect example of the cruel repression that brought protestors to the streets in the first place. Amnesty International observers witnessed police violence and recorded complaints of detainees being beaten. Yet again, the Russian authorities met peaceful dissent with an assault on rights and freedoms.

“Those who took to the streets of Moscow today were demanding accountability for the appalling treatment of journalist Ivan Golunov, who was arrested on fabricated drugs charges in a blatant attempt to silence him. Confronted by unprecedented public indignation, the authorities backtracked and released Ivan Golunov.

“It is outrageous that those who called for his freedom and now for accountability are being punished for their solidarity. We are calling on the Russian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release those peaceful protesters arrested today and respect the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.”

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