More than 13,000 anti-war protesters arrested in Russia

More than 13,000 anti-war protesters were arrested in Russia between the start of the invasion of Ukraine and March 6, according to protest monitoring group OVD-Info.

The group found that 13,022 protesters have been detained in 147 cities across Russia.

“I remain concerned about the use of repressive legislation that impedes the exercise of civil and political rights and criminalizing nonviolent behavior,” United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said Tuesday.

The Investigative Committee of Russia warned at the beginning of the war of the severe consequences individuals could face for protesting.

“The law provides for severe punishment for organizing mass riots, as well as for resisting law enforcement officers. According to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, people who committed such illegal acts may face imprisonment,” The Investigative Committee of Russia said.

This comes as Russia’s assault on Ukraine is in its second week. In addition to arresting protesters, Russia has cracked down on social media platforms and the press amid the ongoing invasion. The country has blocked access to Facebook and Twitter, and last week President Vladimir Putin signed legislation under which people found to be spreading “fake news” about Russian forces could face up to 15 years in prison.

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