20,000 Russians arrested for opposing Putin's war

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More than 20 thousand people were detained between February 2022 and June 2023 for participating in anti-war protests, revealed yesterday Mariana Katzarova, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Russian Federation.

Most of the arrests, he denounced, were carried out during peaceful protests.

The human rights situation in Russia has deteriorated significantly since the invasion that began in February 2022, the expert denounced, according to a United Nations statement.

In an appearance in Geneva, Katzarova reported finding mass arbitrary arrests, detentions and harassment of “anyone who spoke out against Russia's war in Ukraine or dared to criticize the government's actions.”

The situation in Russia involved a closure of civic space, the forced silence of dissidents and independent media,” Katzarova stressed.

As an example, the specialist highlighted the changes in the law on so-called foreign agents or “undesirable organizations” meaning that they are currently severely restricted.

The often violent application of these laws has led to systematic repression of civil society organizations,” Katzarova said.

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