WASHINGTON—Following today’s detention of hundreds of anti-corruption protesters in Russia, Helsinki Commission Chairman Senator Roger Wicker issued the following statement:
“The Russian government’s detainment of hundreds of peaceful protesters during a national holiday is inexcusable. I am particularly disturbed by reports that a large number of teenagers and students were among those arrested.
“Freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are fundamental rights that Russia pledged to protect when it signed the Helsinki Final Act in 1975. I call on Russia to honor those commitments and immediately release all of the protesters.”
The nationwide protests were organized by anti-corruption activist and opposition politician Alexei Navalny, who was among those detained.