Moscow, Jun 4 (EFE).- Russian police on Sunday arrested several activists from Moscow’s city center during a protest demanding the release of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, marking the dissident’s 47th birthday.
Nonprofit OVD-info reported that around a dozen activists had been arrested from the Pushkin square while carrying placards such as “You are not alone,” and “Freedom for Navalny.”
Security forces also detained journalists covering the protests under the monument of poet Alexandr Pushkin in the heart of Moscow, where a large number of anti-riot personnel had been deployed.
Around the square, which is a traditional protest site for Kremlin’s opponents, several buses had been parked with the national guard inside, along with police trucks and vans.
Earlier on Sunday, an activist was arrested from the Red Square carrying a placard that said “freedom & kangaroo” and “Putin is a spider.”
She was referring to Navalny’s solitary confinement in prison, due to which he demanded a kangaroo to be allowed to stay with him in accordance with Russian prison regulations.
OVD-Info reported that several of Navalny’s supporters had also been arrested in other Russian cities such as St Petersburg and as far as the Urals and Siberia.
Protest actions were held on Sunday in more than 120 cities across the world, including London, Paris, Madrid, Berlin, Sydney, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Mexico and Sao Paolo, the Telegram channel run by Navalny’s aides reported.
The Russian opposition had issued a call two weeks ago for the worldwide day of protest in support of Navalny, who has spent nearly 900 days behind bars, including the last 200 in solitary, at a prison in the Vladimir region, less than 200 kilometers away from Moscow.
The opposition leader’s supporters, most of whom are all in self-exile, have accused the prison authorities of trying to poison him in prison.
Navalny wrote on his Telegram page on Sunday that social progress and a better future were possible only if some people are “ready to pay” for their right to have convictions, and that the more such people were there, the lesser the cost would be for everybody.
In November 2022, the Russian judiciary rejected an appeal by Navalny’s lawyers and upheld his eight-year prison term on charges of fraud and contempt of court. EFE