The opponent Russian Navalny arrested at Moscow

Police officers detain Russia's top opposition figure Alexei Navalny (C) after his visit the city's election commission office to submit documents to get registered as a mayoral election candidate in Moscow July 10, 2013.

The opponent number one in the Kremlin, Alexei Navalny, was questioned by the police at the exit of his home in Moscow, at the time it was supposed to go to a meeting of the campaign in the province, he announced Friday on the social networks.

Navalny said earlier he did not receive any official explanation for being held.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement Friday that Navalny was detained because of his calls for unsanctioned rallies. "I am sitting in a reception room and looking at a portrait of Putin", he said on Twitter.

Navalny, however, insisted the event was authorised.

More news: Mandatory evacuation ordered for parts of North Carolina ahead of Hurricane Maria

He urged his supporters to assemble anyway and also linked his detention with another rally scheduled in Russia's second city of Saint Petersburg, the hometown of Russian President Vladimir Putin, on October 7. "They were saying for so long that opposition has no support in the regions, and it now pains them to even look at our rallies". Some 200 to 300 people turned up, an AFP photographer at the scene saw. Now we will understand, "the message said".

Many applaud Navalny - whose ally Boris Nemtsov was assassinated in 2015 - for keeping up the fight when many other dissenters have chosen to leave the country or stay quiet.

The human rights commissioner at the Council of Europe, Nils Muiznieks, urged Russian Federation on Friday to revise its laws on public events, saying it violated the country's global obligations and its own Constitution.

Last June, Russia's election committee decided that 41-year-old Navalny isn't eligible to run for presidency in the upcoming election following several arrests.

  • Adam Floyd