Skip to Content

Russian local elections. Stock photo

France preaches to Russia about protesters being arrested

Russian diplomacy does not appreciate moral lessons coming from France on how to deal with demonstrators.

Published: August 5, 2019, 10:44 am


    In Moscow, on Saturday, August 3, some 800 protesters were arrested by security forces on the sidelines of a protest in support of opposition candidates in the local elections in September, according to figures from the NGO specialized in monitoring such arrests.

    In a statement issued on Sunday, August 4 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relayed by LCI , the French government condemned these arrests as well as “the obviously excessive use of the force that accompanied them”.

    France also wanted to remind Russia of its commitment “to freedom of expression in all its forms, including that of demonstrating peacefully and participating in free and transparent elections”.

    Already last weekend, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs had called for the “quick release” of arrested protesters and expressed their “deep concern”.

    The comments irked Moscow and a Russian official responded on Facebook: “It’s the same France where for about a year, real conflicts have been raging between protesters and the police, according to the French themselves.”

    The spokesperson of the Russian government Maria Zakharova noted “the repressive methods” of the French police.

    And the diplomat added: “French authorities have subjected their population to all sorts of repressive methods: from tear gas and water cannons to mass arrests. The demonstrations were not allowed and the police acted as if [the demonstrators] were foreign occupants and not as if they were the French population.”

    In Russia, courts announced on Tuesday that they have ordered about 60 pretrial detentions and sentenced more than 160 people to fines after Saturday’s demonstration. Last weekend, the police had already carried out 1 400 arrests, a record since the return of Vladimir Putin to the Russian presidency.

    One opponent of the Kremlin, Alexei Navalny was arrested on July 24, for a period of thirty days. He was hospitalized last weekend for a “serious allergic reaction” but later returned to his cell.

    Russia’s Foreign Ministry will meanwhile submit official notifications to Washington and Berlin over interference in Russia’s domestic affairs.

    The US embassy to Russia was involved in the unauthorized rallies held in Moscow on August 3, according to Zakharova. “As for Saturday’s strolls, the embassy of the United States was most closely involved in that activity,” the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman pointed out.

    “The US embassy in Moscow had published a route of that so-called stroll planned for Saturday,” she explained. “Item by item, minute by minute was the itinerary set out: what time it starts, what time it ends and so on and so forth,” she added. And at the end of the document, the participants were urged not to follow the given route.

    “As we understand, 90 percent of that information appealed to people to join the event,” Zakharova said.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman mentioned the public comments voiced by the US embassy’s spokesperson after the banned protest.

    Germany’s Deutsche Welle news channel even called on Muscovites to take to the streets. “Regrettably, we will have to notify the German side – moreover, the channel is state-funded – of our concerns and the practical steps we are going to take,” the diplomat concluded.

    Russian authorities had warned the protesters beforehand about the inadmissibility to break the law and Moscow’s Prosecutor Office opened an administrative investigation against 15 unregistered candidates to the Moscow City Duma, who had organised unsanctioned rallies.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.


    World Population Foundation: Africa needs more contraceptives

    NairobiThe managing director of the German Foundation for World Population (DSW), Renate Bähr, has called for stronger measures to limit population growth in Africa on the occasion of the World Population Conference in Kenya.

    US threatens Serbia with sanctions over S-400 purchase

    BelgradeWashington is threatening Serbia with sanctions to stop the country from buying Russia's advanced S-400 air defense missile systems.

    Leftwing Italian daily inflates number of anti-Semitic attacks

    RomeA report on the issue is clear: The data used by a newspaper on the hot topic refer to 2018, not to 2019 and 197 anti-Semitism episodes per year, not 200 per day.

    Chisinau Forum: Arnaud Develay on the Rule of Law in the age of Imperial Collapse

    ChisinauThe Chisinau Forum aims to bring together those who feel compelled to preserve the flickering light of sovereignty and national independence in their respective countries, says Arnaud Develay, an international lawyer at the Washington and Paris bar.

    Le Pen denounces march against Islamophobia ‘with Islamists’

    ParisAccording to the president of the National Rally, the personalities who associated with the march against Islamophobia, including Jean-Luc Mélenchon, carry "a very heavy responsibility" and will have to "respond to it when the election comes".

    French Senator warns of globalist-engineered ‘Great Replacement’

    ParisAs a result of a mass migration agenda engineered by anti-Western elites, the French people are being replaced, warned Senator Stéphane Ravier.

    Migrants in Bosnian town ‘are everywhere’

    In the Bosnian border town of Bihać, the situation has become dramatic. Bihać is a transit station for migrants on their way to Central Europe, mostly to Germany.

    Italian Interior Minister reveals Libyan stranglehold on illegal immigration

    RomeThe Italian government's memorandum with Libya has shaken up the political debate, mainly because it has revealed the extent of Libyan leverage on Italy.

    Chanteloup-Les-Vignes: scenes of urban violence directed at France

    YvelinesAn immigrant justified the urban violence in Chanteloup-Les-Vignes, saying it was the right way to attack French authority.

    German migration researcher expects immigrant share of 40 percent

    According to the Berlin migration researcher Herbert Brücker, the proportion of citizens with foreign roots in Germany will rise to over 40 by the year 2040.

    Go to archive