A Just Russia party member Oleg Shein said on Saturday he would stop his hunger strike in protest against purported election violations in the southern Russian city of Astrakhan only after the city police released his supporters detained on Friday.
Shein, who lost to the ruling United Russia party’s candidate in the May 4 mayoral election, has been on hunger strike since March 16.
Some 15 of his supporters tried to arrange a "funeral of freedom" in Astrakhan on Friday by laying a wreath at the entrance to the building where the Lotos broadcast channel, a local branch of state VGTRK TV Corporation, is based because the channel did not show any news reports about Shein's strike. The city police detained three protesters and a court sentenced them to three days in jail.
"As soon as my adherents will be released, I will drink a glass of juice for the second time in 37 days and start to end the hunger strike," Shein said at a Saturday's rally held in a form of a meeting with A Just Russia Party leader Sergei Mironov in the city center.
According to the city's interior affairs department information, about 200 people took part in the 40-minute rally on Saturday. The police arrested 10 protesters for various offenses, two people intoxicated inclusive.