Canada-Russia Twitter diplomacy

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Protesters gathered in front of the Moscow City election commission on July 14, 2019 (Ilya V. Schurov/Facebook)

Canada calls on Russia to respect freedom of assembly prior to local elections in Moscow

On July 29, 2019, by means of its Twitter, Global Affairs Canada expressed grave concerns over the detention of more than a thousand participants of a July 27 pre-election opposition rally in Moscow.

The Canadian foreign agency referred to the Russian constitution which includes such fundamental rights as freedom of assembly and expression. Canadians called on “Russian authorities to respect these rights and refrain from violence.” In turn, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs recalled clashes between Canadian demonstrators and local police forces in Quebec City in March 2015. According to a RT Ruptly video attached to the Ministry’s tweet, the police used tear gas to break up that protest.

The rally in Moscow on July 27, 2019, was one in a series of demonstrations sparked after official denial of registration of oppositional candidates aiming to contest the September 8 City Duma election. The protest was not authorized by the City administration. And the police used force to disperse people gathering around City Hall. As reported by the Moscow Times, almost 1,400 demonstrators, including a number of oppositional leaders were detained.

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