14:09 GMT +323 September 2017
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    Lawyer and politician Alexei Navalny is seen near the Moscow City Court building

    EU Parliament Calls on Russia to Free Navalny, Other March 26 Protesters

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    The European Parliament has asked Russia to release opposition figure Alexey Navalny and other protesters detained during Sunday rallies, in a non-binding resolution passed overwhelmingly on Thursday.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — The resolution, passed by 494 to 39 votes with 91 abstentions, condemned detentions made at unauthorized anti-corruption protests that took place in Moscow on two consecutive Sundays, March 26 and April 2. More rallies were held elsewhere across Russia.

    "The European Parliament urges the Russian authorities to release opposition politician Alexei Navalny and other detained demonstrators," the EU Parliament said in a statement.

    Alexey Navalny, an opposition activist who called the demonstrations, was detained for resisting police orders and jailed for 15 days. Moscow security chief Vladimir Chernikov told Sputnik over 600 people had been arrested in the Russian capital last month.

    Russian president's spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier denied allegations that detentions had been unlawful, saying officers had behaved professionally and all those detained had been held for lawbreaking.

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    detention, protest, Alexei Navalny, Russia
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