A high profile anti-Kremlin activist has been arrested for taking part in a protest against alleged fraud in Russia’s general election. Supporters of Alexei Navalny maintained a vigil outside the police station where he and other campaigners are facing up to 15 days in jail over charges of refusing to obey police orders.
His lawyer branded the detention illegal: “Every citizen has the right to assistance from his lawyer from the moment he’s arrested. The detention happened between 8.30 and 9pm yesterday evening. I haven’t been allowed to see him since,” said Vadim Obsev.
Organisers said Monday’s demonstration in Moscow was the biggest opposition rally in the capital for many years. Navalny and others were reportedly arrested after speakers called for the protestors to march to the Kremlin.
Navalny is a well-known blogger who campaigns against corruption in the government. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party won the election, but its opponents say the outcome was rigged. The White House has joined international observers in expressing concern about the ballot.