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Seventh protest against governor’s arrest challenged Kremlin

Protest in Khabarovsk 18th July 2020

Around 1,500 demonstrators marched across Russia’s southeastern city of Khabarovsk on Saturday, in the seventh consecutive weekend of protests after the arrest of the regional governor.

Sergei Furgal was arrested on 9 July in connection with murder charges in which he denies.

Demonstrators took to the streets of Khabarovsk, demanding that Furgal stand trial at home, claiming the charges against Furgal were unsubstantiated and politically motivated.

Critics say the case is politically motivated after Furgal was elected with a large majority in 2018 in an embarrassing defeat for a candidate of the governing party backed by Putin. 

One protestor, Anastasia Schegorina, stated “We elected the governor and we want to be heard and decide ourselves what to do with him. Bring him here, and a fair and open trial will decide whether to convict him or not.”

Other demonstrators held up posters reading “Freedom to Furgal” and chanting “Russia, wake up!”

The local police have not interfered with the unauthorised demonstrations and their attempts to discourage people from joining the demonstrations by warning about the risks of Covid-19 have been unsuccessful.

Read more from Al Jazeera and Reuters

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