“Those who defend their freedoms and democracy in Russia continue to be the target of attacks and assassinations. The Russian people deserve better, ”denounced the head of American diplomacy, Antony Blinken, in a statement.
Boris Nemtsov, who played an important role in the opposition to Vladimir Putin and had been Deputy Prime Minister during the time of President Boris Yeltsin, was shot dead with four bullets fired at close range on a bridge close to the Kremlin, February 27, 2015.
He has, according to Washington, “devoted his life to building a free and democratic Russia.”
“We remain deeply concerned about the growing intolerance of the Russian government towards any form of independent expression,” said the US Secretary of State.
Thousands of Russians gathered in memory of Boris Nemtsov
Several thousand Russians gathered in central Moscow on Saturday in memory of Boris Nemtsov.
“We come together this day every year at this place to show the power that we have not forgotten and will not forget. Boris’s memory will not be erased, ”the opponent and former Prime Minister Mikhail Kassianov told reporters.
“I am sure that what Boris fought for, the freedom of the Russians, their well-being and a dignified life, will soon come true,” he added, praising “his contribution in the liberation of the Russians from this oppression and of this totalitarianism that has followed us since the Soviet times ”.
This year, the demonstration in memory of the opponent was able to place flowers at the makeshift memorial erected in memory of Boris Nemtsov at the scene of his death, regularly dismantled by the authorities.
“We must keep the memory of this great crime against democracy and Russian civil society,” participant Mikhail, a 21-year-old student, told AFP.
“He was telling the truth and for that, in our country, we murder,” said Irina Drozdova, a 44-year-old lawyer.
According to the NGO Compteur Blanc, which specializes in monitoring protests, around 3,700 people took part in the rally, including ambassadors from countries of the European Union, the United States and the United Kingdom.
“Nemtsov still sets an example for those who are not indifferent to freedom, human rights and democracy,” the EU representation in Russia said on Twitter.
This rally comes as the main opponent of the Kremlin, Alexeï Navalny, has been transferred to the penal colony where he must serve a sentence of two and a half years of detention for a case of fraud whose political motivations they denounce.
His arrest, after returning from five months of convalescence in Germany after a poisoning of which he accuses the Kremlin, had provoked major demonstrations in Russia repressed by the police.
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