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Russian Council for human rights chair says no violations during detention of protesters

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Europe | January 24, 2021 10:43:07 AM IST
Moscow [Russia], January 24 (ANI/Sputnik): Chairman of the Russian Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights Valery Fadeyev says there were no violations during the detentions made at the Saturday unauthorized demonstrations held across Russia in support of opposition figure Alexey Navalny.

"These acts are illegal. Not only are they unauthorized, but they are being held at a time of epidemics. Of course, we must talk about the illegality of the actions, not about detentions. I don't see any violations at all. Are these the first detentions ever made here? These are not the first unauthorized rallies. Usually all this ends with the drawing up an act on an administrative offence and releasing [those detained,]" Fadeyev said, as quoted on the presidential council website.

The chairman stressed the importance of holding a thorough investigation into calls for minors to take part in the unauthorized protests. Such calls have been widely recorded on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok.

"This needs to be investigated. Because the scale of the campaign on TikTok, primarily urging minors to come out to these rallies, is very serious. Internet experts say that to launch such a campaign requires significant money or help from the platform, and that is a very serious operation. I believe that it is irresponsible at the least to get minors involved in such events," Fadeyev said.

On Saturday, many Russian cities were hit by protests in support of opposition figure Alexey Navalny, who was detained in Moscow this past Sunday upon his arrival at Sheremetyevo International Airport. Prior to Navalny's return to Russia from Germany, where he was treated for his alleged poisoning, the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service warned it would arrest him for probation violations as he was previously found guilty of committing two administrative offences.

On Monday, a court in Russia ruled to keep Navalny in detention for 30 days. On January 29, a Moscow court is expected to decide whether Navalny's suspended sentence should be replaced with prison time for breach of suspension conditions.

The US State Department, European Council President Charles Michel, as well as an array of western foreign ministries and ministers have called on the Russian authorities to release Navalny.

Commenting on the West's reaction, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called it an attempt to shift attention from the crisis of the liberal model of development. According to the diplomat, his Western counterparts are visibly "happy" to churn out nearly identical statements.

In relation to various comments on Navalny's detention, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has advised foreign officials to respect international law and focus on domestic issues.

Dozens of people, both protesters and law enforcement officers, were injured during the Saturday pro-Navalny demonstrations in Moscow. Police have detained dozens of protesters. (ANI/Sputnik)

 
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