Moscow court reverses Sergei Mitrokhin election ban

A Moscow court on Tuesday canceled a decision by the election commission to bar opposition candidate Sergei Mitrokhin from running in Moscow's upcoming city council vote. 

The Moscow city court ruled that the electoral commission should immediately register Mitrokhin of the centrist Yabloko party as a candidate, according to Russian state news agencies.

Tough actions by law enforcement agencies to curb public unrest are absolutely justifiable, the Kremlin said Tuesday, after massive detentions of anti-government protesters in Moscow. 

"It is necessary to clearly differentiate between legitimate actions agreed upon in the established order and actions that fall under the definition of attempts to organize or involve people in public unrest," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Russia's opposition figures have organized rallies in downtown Moscow over the past three Saturdays after they were denied candidacy in the Moscow city council election slated for September 8.

Police detained over 1,600 participants in the unauthorized demonstrations on July 27 and August 3 for various offenses, and then released most of them, keeping some opposition leaders in custody.

The rally on August 10 was authorized to be held at certain locations and during a specific time, but some participants were detained after they attempted to continue protesting when the event was officially over.

(Cover: People attend a rally to demand authorities allow opposition candidates to run in the upcoming local election, Moscow, Russia, August 10, 2019. /Reuters Photo )