Germany has joined the United State, the European Union, and human rights groups in condemning what it called the "disproportionately tough police action" against weekend demonstrations in Moscow.
Speaking in Berlin on July 29, Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer called on Russia to "quickly" release nearly 1,400 protesters detained two days earlier, and urged the authorities to respect the freedoms of speech and assembly and to ensure international standards are met in upcoming municipal elections.
Police in Moscow detained more than 1,300 people in a day of protests on July 27 against the refusal of election officials to register several opposition figures as candidates in the September polls.
The U.S. Embassy in Moscow and an EU spokeswoman have denounced what they described as the "disproportionate” use of force by police against the "peaceful protesters."
Amnesty International also condemned what it called the "indiscriminate use of force by police, who beat protesters with batons and knocked them to the ground."
Moscow election officials said earlier in July that they barred some opposition candidates from the September 8 Moscow City Duma elections because of insufficient signatures on nominating petitions.
The decision has sparked several days of demonstrations this month.