People with national flags and various political party flags gather during a protest in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, July 20, 2019. Masses of people gathered in central Moscow to demand that opposition candidates be included on ballots for an upcoming city parliament election in September. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

MOSCOW (AP) — About 12,000 people have turned out to protest the Moscow election commission's decision to reject several opposition figures as candidates in the Russian capital's city council election.

The commission last week rejected signatures the candidates gathered to get on the fall ballot.

Demonstrator Maria Semyonova said at Saturday's rally: "They are making North Korea of our country, depriving us of freedom and rights."

Alexi Navalny, Russia's most prominent opposition figure, told the crowd that if the barred candidates were not allowed to register by next Saturday, he would call for protests at the office of Moscow's mayor and "we won't leave."

Moscow police said the protest was sanctioned and no arrests were reported.

Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny gestures while speaking to a crowd during a political protest in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, July 20, 2019. Masses of people gathered in central Moscow to demand that opposition candidates be included on ballots for an upcoming city parliament election in September. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Russian opposition candidate and lawyer at the Foundation for Fighting Corruption Lyubov Sobol, center left, and candidate Ivan Zhdanov, center right, with other candidates wave to the crowd during a protest in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, July 20, 2019. Masses of people gathered in central Moscow to demand that opposition candidates be included on ballots for an upcoming city parliament election in September. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Russian opposition candidate and lawyer at the Foundation for Fighting Corruption Lyubov Sobol, left, gestures while speaking to a crowd as candidate Ivan Zhdanov stands by, during a protest in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, July 20, 2019. Masses of people gathered in central Moscow to demand that opposition candidates be included on ballots for an upcoming city parliament election in September. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Russian opposition activist Ilya Yashin gestures while speaking to a crowd during a protest in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, July 20, 2019. Masses of people gathered in central Moscow to demand that opposition candidates be included on ballots for an upcoming city parliament election in September. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
People with Russian and party flags gather during a protest in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, July 20, 2019. People have gathered in central Moscow to demand that opposition candidates be included on ballots for an upcoming city parliament election in September. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Rosguardia (National Guard) soldiers talk as people with Russian and various political party flags protest, with a man holding sign reading
Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny attends a protest in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, July 20, 2019. Masses of people gathered in central Moscow to demand that opposition candidates be included on ballots for an upcoming city parliament election in September. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
People with Russian and various political party flags stand in front of police line, with small signs reading
Russian opposition candidate and lawyer at the Foundation for Fighting Corruption Lyubov Sobol attends a protest in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, July 20, 2019. Masses of people gathered in central Moscow to demand that opposition candidates be included on ballots for an upcoming city parliament election in September. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
People with Russian and various political party flags stand in front of police line during a protest in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, July 20, 2019.  Masses of people gathered in central Moscow to demand that opposition candidates be included on ballots for an upcoming city parliament election in September. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)