PHOTO / Navalny case in Russia: 1700 arrested in the first hours of anti-Putin protests
Yesterday in more than 50 urban centers in Russia there were protests against the government of President Vladimir Putin, in defense of the cause of the release of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
But, just like in the first round of protests which took place after his first arrest, law enforcement has declared the rallies illegal due to the pandemic and has arrested 1700 protesters in less than 12 hours. Recall that in February were arrested a full 40,000 Russians who had protested in defense of Navalny.
The latter went to the hospital after losing 15 pounds and did not receive proper medical attention during the three months he was incarcerated.
The protesters warned that the mass arrests did not discourage them, adding that they would create "the biggest wave of protests Russia has ever seen."
U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, the head of Congress' Foreign Affairs Committee, has called on the Russian government to release Navalny and stop human rights abuses against detainees. "What we are witnessing in real time is barbarism and we cannot remain silent," he said.
Meanwhile, in an interview given today, the French foreign minister said that Russia "will have serious consequences" if Navalny dies while in custody.