Over 1,000 people were arrested during protests in Moscow over the exclusion of opposition candidates from local polls. According to local sources, as many as 30 people are being barred from participating in the run for office. Protests ensued as a result of decreased wages, increase in retirement-age, “disgust” with the United Russia party, and discontent with the political process, especially on the local level. These protests allegedly lasted for more than seven hours, in which the leader of the opposition group, Alexei Navalny, eventually became covered in rashes with a swollen face because of an unidentified chemical agent. Alexei was then transferred from the jail to the hospital as he was one of many arrested for mass unrest, punishable in Russia for up to 15 years.

The Freemuslim Association condemns these arrests as everyone should be able to exercise their political rights and be able to protest peacefully. The tight authoritarian grip on power that is preventing any type of opposition party is unacceptable, as is the treatment of these peaceful protesters, who faced brute force from security officers along with arbitrary arrests. Freemuslim is troubled about the violence being carried out towards citizens utilizing their constitutional right to assemble. Using force is only more likely to plant seeds of extremism in people’s minds. The youth of today are the future leaders of tomorrow, and must be carefully treated as such. This action will be condemned by the international community.