Is Russia harrassing opposition leaders?

(Moscow Times) Investigators continued for a third day Wednesday to question opposition leaders and search their homes and offices in connection with clashes between police and protesters during an anti-Kremlin rally May 6.

Investigative Committee officials resumed interrogating anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny and Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov after a pause late Tuesday. In response, Udaltsov called on his supporters to start an “Occupy”-style protest outside the Investigative Committee’s offices, he wrote on Twitter.

A crowd later gathered outside the building to protest committee head Alexander Bastrykin’s alleged threats against a Novaya Gazeta editor, and several journalists were detained.

Further searches were carried out Wednesday at the offices of Navalny’s Fund for Fighting Corruption, which runs Rospil, a website that seeks to expose official corruption. Investigators asked Navalny on Wednesday to provide a sample of his writing, but he refused, he wrote on Twitter.

The round of questioning began with surprise raids Monday morning at the homes of several leading opposition figures and their relatives. They were all summoned to appear for questioning early Tuesday, forcing them to miss a highly anticipated, large-scale rally in Moscow.

The day of the rally, websites of opposition-leaning media outlets Ekho Moskvy and Dozhd TV were shut down by denial of service attacks, employees said. The websites of privately owned news outlets have come under similar DDoS attacks in recent months on the days of major opposition protests.

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