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Washington, DC – Lead Republican Michael McCaul and Chairman Gregory W. Meeks of the House Foreign Affairs Committee released a joint statement following the second straight weekend of protests in Russia that saw tens of thousands of peaceful protesters take to the streets across the country to demand the release of leading Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny. According to reports, more than 5,000 Russians and 80 journalists have been arrested during these demonstrations.

“We condemn in the strongest terms the crackdown against peaceful protesters and journalists by Russian authorities. Mr. Navalny and the thousands of protesters unjustly detained must be immediately released. The United States and broader transatlantic community stand in solidarity with the Russian people who–despite the threat of violent arrest and freezing cold–continue to demand their fundamental human rights and due process of law be respected and the Putin regime be held accountable for its shameless corruption.”