White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer called on Russia to release all peaceful protesters that were arrested over the weekend during Monday’s White House press briefing.
Over the weekend more than 1,000 people were detained, including Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who were taking part in the largest anti-government demonstrations in the past five years.
“I know there’s been some interest at the State Department’s statement regarding the arrest of hundreds of protesters, peaceful protesters, that occurred in Russia,” Spicer told reporters.
Spicer then said that the United States strongly condemns the detention of hundreds of people throughout Russia on Sunday. The detention of peaceful protesters and journalists is an affront to democratic values, he said.
“We are troubled to hear the arrest of the opposition leader upon arrival at the demonstration, as well as the police raids on the anti-corruption organization he heads,” Spicer continues.
“The United States will monitor the situation, and we call on the government of Russia to immediately release all peaceful protesters. The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve a government that’s transparent and accountable, [with] equal treatment under the law and the ability to exercise their rights without fear of retribution,” Spicer concluded.
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