US News Arrests in Russia: Le Drian denounces the Russian "authoritarian drift"

15:02  24 january  2021
15:02  24 january  2021 Source:   lepoint.fr

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RUSSIA-POLITICS-FRANCE: Arrests in Russia: Le Drian denounces the Russian "authoritarian drift"


PARIS (Reuters) - Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Sunday denounced Russia's "authoritarian drift" in the management of the demonstrations which were held across the country to demand the release of the opponent Alexeï Navalny.

Nearly 3,500 people were arrested on Saturday, sometimes violently, including 1,360 in Moscow and 523 in Saint Petersburg, according to the monitoring group OVD-Info, while demonstrations were counted in a hundred cities.

After a poison attack: Kremlin opponent Navalny returns to Moscow and risks imprisonment.

 After a poison attack: Kremlin opponent Navalny returns to Moscow and risks imprisonment. In Russia, the prominent critic of Vladimir Putin is threatened with imprisonment or even another assassination attempt. The opposition has big plans for his political struggle. © dpa The Russian opposition politician Alexej Navalny when he takes part in a memorial march for a murdered opposition politician. Five months after being poisoned, Kremlin critic Alexej Navalny wants to return to Russia this Sunday - where he is threatened with direct arrest.

25 minutes story about Kurds, Turkey and Erdogan's referendum. Produced by Chris Den Hond and Mireille Court for TeleSur and Tariq Ali's program: "The World

This appeal is unusual among contemporary nondemocracies; it contrasts with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin’s more bluntly unsavory brand of autocracy, for instance. These “progressive” claims aggravate the risks emanating from the recent turn to authoritarian rule.

Some relatives of the Russian opponent had also been arrested a few days before the events.

"I find this authoritarian drift very disturbing," said Jean-Yves Le Drian on the program Questions politique from France inter, Franceinfo and Le Monde.

"The questioning of the rule of law by these collective and preventive arrests is unbearable," he added.

He also considered that "the success of the demonstrations throughout Russia (was) impressive" and hoped that all the light be shed on the Navalny affair.

Alexei Navalny was arrested last Sunday and jailed for alleged violation of his parole after returning to Russia for the first time since being poisoned by a nerve agent.

Anticipating a probable arrest, he had urged, before his return, his supporters to take part in repeated demonstrations, including one on Saturday. Nearly 40,000 people gathered in Moscow, according to a Reuters estimate, which is one of the largest unauthorized gatherings in years.

The United States and the European Union each denounced the "harsh tactics" and "disproportionate use of force" by the police and called for the release of those arrested.

The European Union's foreign ministers are due to discuss new economic sanctions against Russia on Monday in Brussels.

"On the sanctions, we must make them really operational," said Jean-Yves Le Drian.

European lawmakers have already adopted a resolution on Thursday asking the EU to stop construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany, in response to Navalny's arrest.

(Caroline Pailliez)

Moscow: Several arrests related to the Navalny trial .
Several arrests related to the Navalny trial © MAXIM SHEMETOV / REUTERS Arrest in front of the courthouse in Moscow. Russia's state power cracks down on supporters of the Kremlin critic. The prison system demands three and a half years imprisonment in the courtroom. The prison system requires a prison sentence of three and a half years.

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This is interesting!