Masked man tasers Russian election chief before regional vote

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A masked man broke into the home of Ella Pamfilova, the head of Russia’s Central Election Commission, in the early hours of Friday morning and repeatedly tasered her, Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs said.

The attack came two days before Russians vote in regional elections, including in Moscow. The vote in the Russian capital has triggered weeks of protests after Pamfilova and her colleagues refused to register a slew of opposition-minded candidates.

Election officials said the barred candidates had not collected enough genuine signatures to take part in Sunday’s election, an allegation the candidates denied.

“The masked intruder broke in through a window and got onto the house’s terrace and repeatedly tasered the home owner (Pamfilova) and then fled,” the ministry said in a statement.

It said the incident occurred in Istra in the Moscow region, which adjoins the Russian capital.

Russian news agencies said Pamfilova appeared to be unharmed and was taking part in a conference in Moscow on Friday. Officials said she was uninjured but had canceled a planned meeting with reporters, the agencies reported.

Police have briefly detained over 2,000 people at the Moscow protests with courts jailing some of those who took part for up to four years. The Kremlin has shrugged off the protests’ significance.

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