Foreign Ministry calls for immediate release of demonstrators in Russia

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania voices its concerns over the mass arrests of peaceful protesters in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and many other cities of the Russian Federation,” it said in a statement.

The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry noted that Alexei Navalny, the founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation and the organizer of the protests, Ilya Yashin and some other Russian opposition leaders were among hundreds of people arrested on Monday.

The ministry said that it was “particularly concerned by reports on use of force against peaceful protesters”.

“We call on the Russian authorities to release all detainees immediately, to refrain from using force against peaceful protesters and to ensure that the citizens of the Russian Federation, who wish to exercise their right to assembly and freedom of expression, will not be hindered,” it said.

Around 1,500 people were arrested during demonstrations against government corruption in Russia on Monday. A Moscow court found Navalny guilty of organizing unauthorized protests and sentenced him to 30 days in custody.

US and EU officials have also denounced the detention of protesters.

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