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Refrain from joining anti-government protests, Pinoys in Russia urged

The Philippine Embassy in Russia urged Filipinos to stay away from crowded places amid brewing anti-government protests in Moscow to demand the release of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, a strong critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“We urge our compatriots in Moscow to be careful, avoid crowded places, and follow the rules of the authorities. There is news that a big movement will take place in the center, on the Pushkinskaya metro, today,” the embassy said, in a statement issued on Sunday (Philippine time).

“Let us remember our personal security especially when we leave the house. When we come out, be observant of the environment. Do not join the protests even if the employer pressures you,” the embassy warned.

It also warned against reposting or sharing the invitation to join the protest action.

“Let us not repost or share the invitations to participate in the protest action because it is banned by the Russian Government. Take extra precautions,” the statement warned.

Reports showed that protest rallies were held across Russia on Saturday to demand the release of Navalny. More than 3,000 people were detained by police for joining the rallies.

Navalny flew home to Russia from Berlin last week and was promptly detained by Russian authorities.

The opposition leader was flown to Berlin in August last year for emergency medical treatment after being poisoned with what German tests showed was a Novichok nerve agent.

Russian authorities earlier said that Navalny would be arrested once he returned, accusing him of flouting the terms of a suspended prison sentence for embezzlement. Navalny denied it, saying it was a trumped up charges.

Topics: Vladimir Putin , Russia , Alexei Navalny , Philippine Embassy , protest
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