The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Monday asked for investigations into the "excessive use" of force by the Russian police in the weeks leading up to the last elections.
"I support the calls of the Presidential Council for investigating the allegations of excessive use of force by the police, and I urge the authorities to respect freedom of expression, the right to peaceful assembly and the right to participate in business. ", said Michelle Bachelet. The High Commissioner launched the appeal on the occasion of the opening of the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, while the ruling party suffered a heavy setback Sunday in the elections of the United Nations Moscow parliament, losing about a third of its seats, according to provisional results given by Russian news agencies.
More than 2,500 people arrested during the July and August protests
These elections were closely followed after a summer of demonstrations in Moscow due to the rejection of the candidacy of the main figures of the opposition. Opponent Alexei Navalny, whose allies were banned from the elections, on Sunday called on voters to "vote smart" by supporting those best placed to beat the ruling party candidates. "I am concerned about the numerous arrests and police actions" in Russia, noted Michelle Bachelet, noting more than 2,500 people were arrested during protests in July and August.
"Currently, five have been sentenced to jail time, and others face criminal charges," said Michelle Bachelet. This wave of protests had not been seen in Russia since the 2011-2012 election that preceded the return of Vladimir Putin to the presidency after a term as Prime Minister.