Russian opposition figure detained upon release from jail | News | DW | 18.08.2019
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Russian opposition figure detained upon release from jail

No sooner had he walked out of a Moscow jail than activist Ilya Yashin was detained for a third time, accused of urging mass protests. Several opposition politicians are barred from next month's Moscow city elections.

Prominent Russian opposition politician Ilya Yashin was detained by police on Sunday immediately after serving two short, concurrent prison sentences.

The 36-year-old activist was jailed for 10 days ahead of an unsanctioned protest in the Russian capital, Moscow, on July 27 that saw more than 1,400 people arrested.

After completing that term, he was detained upon his release on August 8 and given an additional 10 days in jail.

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Video shows arrest

Sunday saw him arrested for the third time when several men in uniform and a prison bus were waiting to rearrest him, a video he posted to Twitter showed.

During the footage, a police officer tells Yashin he was being detained for urging people to take part in unsanctioned protests. 

Yashin, a close confidant of Boris Nemtsov, the former deputy prime minister who was murdered in 2015, goes on to play down his situation.

"I really don't care at all because here in this prison bus, in jail, behind bars or wherever, I'm freer than those bloodsuckers in masks who are beating people up, those bloodsuckers in robes putting innocent people in jail and those bloodsuckers in state employee suits who are taking our country apart," he tells the camera.

Yashin is due to appear in court again on Monday.

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Musicians support call for free elections in Moscow

Moscow election ban

Yashin is one of the independent and opposition politicians who were denied a place on the ballot for Moscow's city council election on September 8.

Their exclusion has triggered a series of protests, including one that attracted an estimated 60,000 people.

The rallies were the biggest since mass protests broke out in 2011 against President Vladimir Putin's return to the Kremlin after a term as prime minister. 

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Tens of thousands demand open elections in Moscow

Some 3,000 people have been arrested for taking part and prominent members of the opposition, including top Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, remain behind bars.

In response to the police crackdown, several opposition activists held silent one-person vigils across Moscow on Saturday to call for releasing political prisoners and for free elections.

mm/tj (AFP, AP, dpa)

Darko Janjevic contributed to this report.

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