German government concerned about arrests
Federal government spokesperson Steffen Seibert pointed out that Russia has undertaken to comply with the principles of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe. These include the right of assembly and freedom of expression. "It is very important for Russian democracy that these high principles be respected," stressed Steffen Seibert.
At the weekend hundreds of demonstrators were arrested in Moscow and other Russian cities. Among them is the well known Russian activist and blogger Alexei Navalny. He had called on Russians to protest against corruption and unlawful activities. Navalny has already been prosecuted many times.
The German government believes that the majority of those arrested have since been released again. The other participants in the nationwide protests primarily against corruption are to be released swiftly.