الأحد , يونيو 14 2020

Russian activists end hunger strike

Leonid Volkov, pictured in the centre with Alexei Navalny, argues with a uniformed man

Leonid Volkov, pictured in the centre with opposition leader Alexei Navalny on the right, was one of those who went on hunger strike

Six Russian opposition activists have ended a hunger strike in protest at exclusion from regional elections after one of them was taken to hospital.

The activists, who are part of Russia’s main opposition movement, had been refusing food for more than a week.

Officials in Novosibirsk had ruled that the group had too few valid signatures to stand in polls next month.

The regional ballot is seen by Russia’s opposition as a key test in the run-up to next year’s parliamentary vote.

On Friday Russia’s central election commission confirmed that the opposition had been denied registration in three out of four regions where it had sought to stand.

The opposition block is led by Parnas, the party of Boris Nemtsov, who was murdered in Moscow earlier this year.

Opposition officials said out-of-date information was used to check the signatures they submitted, but that argument was dismissed on appeal.

The main opposition leader – Alexei Navalny – called the decision “criminal”, arguing that voters are being denied their right to a proper choice at the ballot box.

The activists in Novosibirsk said that in ending their strike they were responding to an appeal from Mr Navalny and others to save their energy for a protest in Moscow on 13 September, the day of the elections.

Opposition politicians say that there is a co-ordinated campaign by the Kremlin to prevent them from taking part, an accusation President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman has denied.

شاهد أيضاً

COPTIC SOLIDARITY LAUNCHES URGENT CALL TO END CRIME OF FORCED DISAPPEARANCE OF COPTIC WOMEN IN EGYPT

A Coptic woman, Ranya Abd al-Masih (“servant of Christ”), 39, disappeared in Egypt on April 22, 2020, …