2019.08.02 16:30

Lithuanian lawmakers turn to OSCE over Russian protest crackdown

BNS 2019.08.02 16:30

A group of Lithuanian conservative and liberal politicians have asked international bodies to give their assessment of arrests at a Moscow rally in support to independent candidates who were barred from local polls. 

"Russia's reinstatement to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) was a big mistake that gave Vladimir Putin's regime a license to destroy any signs of democracy in the country," the politicians said in their letter to PACE and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

The MPS have asked the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) to investigate whether independent candiates were discriminated in the Russian Duma election process.

Read more: Moscow protesters expect reaction from EU – Russian political exile in Vilnius

The Lithuanian opposition politicians regard the mass arrests in the wake of the July 27 protest demonstration as a gross violation of the European Convention on Human Rights, the Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats' political group in the Seimas said in a press release on Friday.

They are also asking the international bodies to look at whether the record-high number of arrests was justified, evaluate local authorities' response and issue recommendations to Russia's representatives.

More than 1,000 people were detained at the rally in the Russian capital last Saturday.