Open Russia Director Detained After Release From Moscow Jail

September 18, 2020 00:29 GMT – By Current TimeRFE/RL’s Russian Service

Prominent Russian activist Andrei Pivovarov has been detained at the exit of a Moscow detention center immediately after being released from serving a 14-day sentence for breaking protest laws.

Pivovarov, the executive director of opposition group Open Russia, was taken to a Moscow police station on September 17 and will go before a court the following day on new charges of organizing or holding a public event without giving notice.

“I suspect that immediately after the first detention they decided to issue another one,” Pivovarov wrote on his Telegram channel from a police van.

On September 4, Pivovarov was sentenced to two weeks of detention over a Facebook post in July in which he sought to gather signatures in Moscow to petition against sweeping constitutional reforms passed later in the summer.

Pivovarov denied the charge and said it was politically motivated. After the verdict was handed down, Pivovarov accused Russian authorities of jailing him in order to sideline him ahead of local elections that took place on September 13.

Russian authorities consider Open Russia a so-called “undesirable” organization and have repeatedly targeted the organization and its leadership.

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