The Head of Russia’s Only Independent Election Monitor Was Just Arrested, Right Before the Election

Talia Ralph
via Business Insider

The head of Russia’s only independent political watchdog was held at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on Saturday as elections in the world’s biggest country began, The Associated Press reported.

Lilya Shibanova, the leader of Golos, was detained in Moscow after she refused to hand over her laptop to officials.

On Friday, Golos was fined the equivalent of $1,000 for violating a law that bans the publication of opinion poll results within five days of the election, CTV reported.

The United States has said it was concerned about the “pattern of harassment” against the watchdog, Reuters reported.

Golos — “vote” in Russian — is funded from Europe and the United States and runs a hotline for electoral violations. Its interactive map showed more than 4,500 reported violations linked to Sunday’s vote, The New York Times reported.

The election could trim the number of seats Vladimir Putin’s United Russia holds in the Duma, the country’s lower house of parliament…

The article continues, with video, at Business Insider

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