Hundreds of Protesters Arrested in Moscow, Monitoring Group Says

Updated 3:19 p.m., July 27.Russian police on Saturday beat some people and arrested more than 1,000 who were protesting in Moscow against the exclusion of opposition candidates from a local election later this year. Police also stormed into a TV station broadcasting the protest. Police grappled with protesters around the mayor’s office, sometimes rushing the crowd with batons raised.  State news agencies Tass and RIA-Novosti cited police as saying 1,074 were arrested during the protests, which ran for seven hours. The protesters, who police said numbered about 3,500, shouted such slogans as Russia will be free!'' andWho are you beating?” One young woman was seen bleeding heavily from a head wound. Last week 22,000 demonstrated in a similar Moscow protest. Several opposition activists who wanted to run for seats on the Moscow city council in the Sept. 8 election were arrested throughout the city before the protest began. Opposition figure Alexei Navalny was sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in jail for calling an unauthorized protest. On Saturday, police stormed Navalny’s video studio as it was broadcasting the protest via YouTube and arrested program leader Vladimir Milonov. Police also searched the Dozhd internet television station and ordered editor in chief Alexandra Perepelova to be questioned by authorities. Election officials have barred some opposition candidates from seeking office, allegedly for not having enough signatures on their nominating petitions. The Moscow city council, which has 45 seats, is controlled by the pro-Kremlin United Russia party. All the seats are up for grabs Sept. 8. The protests and arrests come amid declining living standards and President Vladimir Putin’s falling approval ratings. Some information for this report came from Associated Press. 

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