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Arrests continue in Moscow during second day of protests in solidarity with jailed journalist

Source: Meduza

Law enforcement have arrested more protesters outside of the police headquarters in Moscow, during the second day of peaceful, single-person demonstrations in solidarity with arrested journalist and municipal deputy Ilya Azar.

According to Meduza’s correspondent reporting from scene, at least 12 people have already been arrested, including activist Konstantin Fokin; municipal deputies Yulia Galyamina, Elena Rusakova, Andrey Morev, and Elena Filina, as well as Kirill Goncharov and Vladislav Neymar of the Yabloko party, and Evgeny Svarovsky, Denis Petrov, Sergey Tsakusov. Many of them were arrested before they could even picket. Moscow City Duma deputy Sergey Mitrokhin was also arrested earlier in the day. 

Over a loudspeaker, police announced that the demonstrations are illegal due to the ongoing self-isolation regime, and asked the crowd to disperse. Moscow City Duma deputies Mikhail Timonov and Evgeny Stupin were also present outside of the police headquarters, talking to law enforcement and asking them not to arrest citizens for taking part in solo demonstrations.

On May 28, Moscow’s Tver District Court sentenced Novaya Gazeta journalist Ilya Azar to 15 days administrative arrest, after finding him guilty of repeatedly violating the law on public gatherings. Azar was arrested for holding a single-person picket in support of arrested “Police Ombudsman” administrator Vladimir Vorontsov on May 26.

Azar’s sentencing sparked solidarity protests that same day, during which police detained 13 people, mostly journalists. Another five people were arrested during protests in St. Petersburg. Municipal Deputies then promised to protest outside of the Moscow police headquarters on May 29. Demonstrations in support of Azar have also taken place in Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg. 

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