Women in Russia who have been protesting against the prison sentence of Alexei Navalny have reportedly been made to strip and have been facing sexual harassment and abuse while being detained. According to local media reports, spine chilling videos of people getting inhumanly beaten by police officers in riot gears have surfaced.
However, it's the women who are particularly been sexually harassed after being arrested, which activists are now calling gross violation of human rights. Police have so far arrested more than a 1,000 people, mainly in Moscow and St. Petersburg during heated protests after Navalny was arrested from the Russian border on January 17.
Facing Police's Wrath
According to a report in East2west News, police have been taking out their anger on women who have been protesting against Navalny's prison sentence. Human rights activist Elza Nisanbekova claims women, in particular, are being targeted in custody.
In an interview to the media outlet, Nisanbekova said: "We have a very strange practice starting. After detention, in police departments, police officers force the girls to either fully undress and do sit-downs naked, or force them to show their underwear, pull up their T-shirts, blouses, pull down their trousers."
The reports come amid growing tensions between Russia and United States several other European nations. Russian opposition leaders on Wednesday expressed their concerns over the country fast becoming a police state amid the disturbing reports of abuse, particularly on women.
Talgat Ahmadiev, 28, one of the many detainees told East2West News that a woman who was held by police "was not treated humanely." "She was forced to take off her bra and undress to her panties," he said.
However, she initially refused to strip following which she was threatened with an additional charge of insubordination for declining to obey an order by a police commander.
Unrest in Russia
The treatment being meted out to women is reportedly coming from various parts of Russia. In Kazan, female students were threatened and compelled to disrobe in a cell with "transparent glass," reported the outlet.
The disturbing reports have been condemned by activists, while several country's have been calling for Navalny's release. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently warned Russia that the United States and its allies "hold Russia accountable for failing to uphold the rights of its citizens" if Navalny isn't released.
Navalny, the 44-year-old harsh critic of Kremlin was was ordered to serve the remainder of his 3½-year prison sentence earlier this week after a court ruled that he violated terms of his parole. However, given that he was sentenced in 2014 and served time under house arrest, his prison term has been reduced to 2 ½ years.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson described his arrest as act of "pure cowardice," while French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel too have joined the call for Navalny's release.