Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., is criticizing the White House for not addressing the recent “crackdown” on Russian protestors, Politico reports.
Sasse, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement:
“Putin’s thugocracy is on full display. The United States government cannot be silent about Russia’s crackdown on peaceful protesters. Free speech is what we’re all about and Americans expect our leaders to call out thugs who trample the basic human rights of speech, press, assembly, and protest.”
Sasse also took to Twitter to address the issue, adding, “May freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and freedom of protest prevail today across Russia.”
He also added a link to a YouTube video providing “more context on the perils of religious liberty these days in Russia.”
Rallies in opposition to Russia’s government occurred on Sunday, with more than 650 people being detained in Moscow alone. More have been detained in 80 cities and towns throughout Russia. Alexei Navalny, Putin’s most-prominent critic in Russia, was also detained.
The protests began after allegations that “Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev accepted more than $1 billion in bribes from state banks and wealthy businessmen.”