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Hundreds detained during opposition election protest in Moscow

Lisa Micheal 56 Jul 27

Hundreds of protesters have been detained at an opposition election demonstration in Moscow, which authorities have claimed is unauthorized.

Thousands of Russians pledged to attend the protest in the capital Saturday, after Russian authorities banned a number of independent and opposition candidates from taking part in municipal elections in September.
Authorities stated that the candidates were barred from running because they had failed to obtain a sufficient number of signatures to be put on the ballot paper. Opposition politicians and supporters have rejected this allegation.
The decision has sparked a number of protests across Russia this month, including the largest demonstration in recent years last weekend, when 22,000 people took to the streets. Protesters threatened to hold an even larger demonstration Saturday, which was subsequently declared illegal by the authorities.
Protesters take to the streets of Moscow after a number of opposition politicians were barred from running in municipal elections in September.
Hundreds of riot police were witnessed preparing for the protests Saturday morning, and were later seen linking arms to form a line, pushing protesters away from Moscow's City Hall.
OVD-info, a Russian democracy monitoring organization, said that at least 561 people have been detained thus far during the protests.
CNN witnessed clashes between protesters and police, with at least two protesters left with bloodied faces.
Moscow police said that 3,500 people took part in the protests, including 700 journalists and bloggers.
"A significant number of detainees are not residents of Moscow. All detainees are brought to the territorial police units for investigation," the State Ministry of Internal Affairs in Moscow said in the statement.
A number of arrests and raids were also carried out on opposition candidates in the days and hours leading up to the protest.