MOSCOW — About 20,000 people rallied in Moscow on Sunday to demand the release of those who were arrested during a wave of opposition demonstrations this summer.
Protests erupted in Moscow in July after officials refused to allow a dozen independent and opposition candidates to run for the Moscow city legislature in the Sept. 8 vote. Rallies drew crowds of up to 60,000 at a time, the largest show of discontent against President Vladimir Putin’s rule in seven years.
Russian police violently dispersed some of the election protests that weren’t sanctioned, detaining a total of more than 2,400 people. Most were quickly released, but more than a dozen were put into custody on charges of involvement in riots.
Amid the public outrage, the authorities dropped charges against some of the protesters, but several people have been sentenced to prison terms of up to four years and a few others are in still custody.