Anti-corruption activist Lyubov Sobol’s protest inside the Moscow City Election Commission building has been cut short. On Thursday, July 25, Sobol moved her hunger strike against the commission to the agency’s office, but the authorities removed her — and the couch she sat on — and then promptly escorted her to the Tverskoy District police station, where she was denied access to a lawyer for several hours. Sobol broadcast the entire ordeal live on her Periscope channel.
Lyubov Sobol has been waging a hunger strike since July 13 against election officials’ decision to reject her application to run as a candidate in Moscow’s September City Duma elections. The commission is expected to reach a final ruling on her candidacy on Friday, July 26.
Sobol is one of dozens of independent candidates whom Moscow’s election commission has refused to register. The city’s critics say the commission’s actions are illegal and politically motivated. The Moscow City Election Commission has already verified the rejection of several other oppositionists.
On Saturday, July 27, Alexey Navalny and other politicians have called for an unauthorized protest outside City Hall. The city’s Investigative Committee has responded by opening a criminal case against the demonstration’s organizers, raiding the homes of several oppositionists. Navalny was also sentenced to 30 days in jail for “illegal advocacy.”