EU calls on Russia to release protesters “without delay”

On Monday, the European Union urged Russia to “release without delay the peaceful demonstrators” of whom hundreds were arrested the previous day during protests against corruption.

“Police operations in the Russian Federation, which tried to disperse demonstrations and arrested hundreds of citizens, including opposition leader Alexey Navalny, prevented the protesters from exercising their fundamental freedoms of expression and association as well as the right to peaceful assembly, all of which are protected in the Russian constitution”, said an EU spokesman in a statement.

“We urge the Russian authorities to fully respect their international commitments, to respect these rights and to release without delay the peaceful demonstrators who have been arrested,” she added.

Russian opposition leader, Alexey Navalny, and hundreds of his supporters were arrested throughout Russia during anti-corruption demonstrations, which were one of the strongest rallies against President Vladimir Putin since his return to the Kremlin in 2012.

At the beginning of the demonstrations, which united tens of thousands of people in the countryside and the usually quiet provincial towns, Alexei Navalny was to be presented to a judge on Monday morning after spending the night in prison.

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