More than 800 protesters, along with Russian opposition leader Lyubov Sobol, were arrested in Moscow on Saturday for participating in an unauthorized protest against the exclusion of opposition candidates from local elections. OVD-Info, an organization that tracks arrests in Russia, said 828 people were detained on Saturday, but the Russian Interior Ministry said the number was closer to 600. Sobol was on her way to the protest in front of Moscow’s city hall when she was apprehended. The BBC reports that she was dragged from a taxi headed to join demonstrators when she was dragged into a black van. Sobol, a popular video blogger and lawyer, is one of the candidates banned from participating in the September elections. She has been on a hunger strike for 21 days. Sobol said authorities “are doing everything they can to try to intimidate the opposition.” She urged supporters to gather. “That is why it is important to come out today to show that Muscovites are not afraid of provocation and they are ready to continue to stand up for their rights.” More than 1,000 protesters have been detained in the last month in Russia.
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