Russian police detain 200 attendees of Moscow forum, including opposition leaders
- The detentions come amidst unrest due to the arrest and imprisonment of Alexei Navalny
- The Moscow forum was a gathering of municipal deputies from all over the country
- Police said people detained did not follow appropriate anti-coronavirus health measures
Russian police on Saturday detained around 200 people during a meeting of independent and opposition politicians in Moscow. The list of people detained include a number of prominent opposition figures. The detentions come amidst unrest due to the arrest and imprisonment of opposition politician Alexei Navalny following his return to Russia in January after recovering from a nerve agent poisoning in Siberia.
The Moscow forum was a gathering of municipal deputies from all over the country, according to Andrei Pivovarov. Pivovarov was the event’s organiser and executive director of Open Russia, which is British-based group founded by exiled former oil tycoon and Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
Police entered the building and began detaining attendees and taking them to police vans waiting outside after the event started. According to the Moscow branch of Russia’s interior ministry, around 200 people had been detained.
According to police, people who were detained did not follow appropriate anti-coronavirus health measures, although video footages showed them wearing masks.
Police told Reuters, "A significant portion of participants lacked personal protective equipment. “Members of an organisation whose activities are considered undesirable on Russian territory were among the participants."