The President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola has called on the Russian authorities to free all anti-invasion peaceful protesters unjustly detained, at the opening of the EU parliament's plenary session in Strasbourg.
As the shelling of Ukraine continues unabated and the number of civilian casualties increases, President Metsola said: “Our outrage grows with every shell that is fired, as does Ukraine’s defiance and our people’s solidarity”.
She highlighted the immense courage of those in Russia that have continued to stand up and protest against the invasion of Ukraine, despite facing jail and brutal crackdown, expressing Parliament’s solidarity with them.
Under two laws brought in on 4 March that criminalise those protesting and informing about the war in Ukraine, protesters face up to fifteen years in prison and thousands have already been jailed. “Putin will find that the truth is not easily suppressed”, she added.
On behalf of Parliament, the President called on the Russian authorities to allow freedom of expression, to stop intimidating protesters and release immediately all those unjustly detained.