Russia: election monitor arrested ahead of vote

In the latest iteration of Russia’s ongoing crackdown on dissent, a Moscow court ordered the detention of Grigory Melkonyants, co-chair of independent election monitoring organization Golos. The initial detention period was set at two months pending an investigation into charges that Melkonyants operated an “undesirable” NGO—a crime in Russia, punishable with six years in prison. Melkonyants’ arrest came amid a flurry of searches of the homes and offices of Golos associates. The organization attributed the timing of the arrest and searches to Russia’s upcoming regional elections. (Photo: Wikipedia)