3 Aug 2019 14:20

Opposition activist Lyubov Sobol detained while leaving her HQ

MOSCOW. Aug 3 (Interfax) - Lawyer and opposition activist Lyubov Sobol, who was denied registration as a Moscow City Duma candidate in the 43rd voting constituency, has been detained while leaving her headquarters, an Interfax correspondent reported.

The politician was heading to an unsanctioned rally in support to the unregistered candidates on the Boulevard Ring. In protest against the denial of registration, Sobol has been on a hunger strike for over than 20 days.

Following the collection of signatures to be nominated as Moscow City Duma candidates, the district elections commissions denied registration of 57 people, the majority of whom are independent candidates from the opposition. This sparked a number of mass protests. The most recent event took place on July 27. According to the Moscow branch of the Interior Ministry, 1,094 people were detained during it. In particular, among the detainees were Anti-Corruption Foundation head Ivan Zhdanov, unregistered candidate Yulia Galyamina, and opposition activists Dmitry Gudkov and Ilya Yashin. All of them were sentenced to administrative arrests.

On July 30, the Moscow branch of the Russian Investigative Committee announced the opening of the criminal case of mass unrests and violence against policemen. The case currently involves ten suspects; the court sanctioned the arrest of five of them. Another several dozen people, including those who are currently under administrative arrests, may become defendants in this case.

Following the rally on July 27, associates of the candidates from the opposition filed an application with the Moscow mayor's office to hold rallies in their support on August 10 and 11. An application to hold several pickets on the Boulevard Ring on August 3 was also filed. In addition, information from opposition activist Alexei Navalny's Moscow headquarters about an even on the Boulevard Ring on August 3 has been circulating on social media for a week.

The Moscow authorities did not permit to hold the pickets, because the application was filed too late, but sanctioned both rallies on August 10 and 11. The organizers of the pickets, in turn, said they would still hold them on August 3.