EU concerned over jailed Russian opposition leaders

May 12th, 2012 - 6:02 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, May 12 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The European Union is concerned over the arrests of Russian opposition movement leaders during the recent protest rallies in Moscow, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has said.

“The High Representative is concerned about the arrests of opposition leaders in Moscow and the 15-day prison sentence imposed on some of them on May 9 2012,” Ashton’s spokesperson said in a statement posted on the EU website.

“The freedoms of expression and of assembly, and participation in peaceful demonstrations, are fundamental rights in democratic states and are indeed enshrined in the Russian Constitution.”

Anti-corruption blogger and opposition figurehead Alexei Navalny and leader of Russia’s opposition Left Front movement Sergei Udaltsov were jailed for 15 days Wednesday for disobeying police orders.

Navalny was questioned by police Thursday morning in connection with the May 6 riots.

“The High Representative calls on Russia to respect these rights, also in light of Russia’s international commitments taken as a member of the Council of Europe and the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe),” the statement said.

Over 400 people were detained as a Moscow protest rally turned violent on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s May 7 presidential inauguration.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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