On Saturday, municipal representatives from regions of Russia gathered in the Russian capital to discuss parliamentary and local elections – scheduled for September – on a platform organized by the United Democrats, a project aimed at supporting competitive elections , According to their website.
Opposition activist Ilya Yashin said the incident took 40 minutes, with police breaking the stage and detaining around 150 policemen.
Yashin said on Facebook, “A very symbolic interlude of a small platform: deputation in a police van, and masked police twisting people’s arms.”
“But nobody promised us freedom on the silver plate. Russia would be free anyway,” he said.
Yashin also posted moment-by-moment pictures from the stage by the police and inside the police van on Twitter.
Anastasia Burkova, a coordinator of the United Democrats, told Russian state media RIA Novosti that the forum was held at the Izmelovo Delta Hotel, where all municipal representatives from Russia discussed the strategy of the next electoral cycle and shared their experiences with each other Were gathered to do.
“All were detained who participated both as a listener and as a speaker. No reason was given,” Burkova told RIA Novandi.
Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs said in a statement that about 200 people were detained in violation of coronovirus restrictions.
“On the hotel complex at Izmailovsky Highway, a group of residents, representatives of a public organization, attempted to organize a public event in violation of established sanitary and epidemiological requirements – a large proportion of the participants did not have private security facilities, “The Ministry of Interior statement said.
The statement added that “Furthermore, members of an organization whose activities are recognized as undesirable in the territory of the Russian Federation were identified among the participants,” and the police stopped “illegal actions”.
Vladimir Kara Murza, a prominent activist and critic of the Kremlin – Boris Nemtsov, a longtime aide and friend of the murdered opposition figure – was among those detained.
An independent monitoring group, OVD-Info, said at least 180 people were detained.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs said that “investigations are underway” on the detained activists on Saturday, adding that “a decision will be taken in compliance with the law.”