Police officers detain a protestor, during an unsanctioned rally in Pushkin Square in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. Moscow police detained more than 300 people Saturday who are protesting the exclusion of some independent and opposition candidates from the city council ballot, a monitoring group said. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

BERLIN (AP) — Germany is calling on Russia to release the protesters detained during a rally for independent and opposition candidates in Moscow.

The Foreign Ministry said Sunday that "the arrests are not in proportion to the peaceful character of the protests, which were directed against the exclusion of candidates" from the city council election in Moscow.

Russia's Interior Ministry said police detained 600 people Saturday at the unsanctioned protest. A previous demonstration a week ago over the candidates' exclusion from the Sept. 8 local vote resulted in nearly 1,400 arrests.

The German Foreign Ministry said Russia is breaching international commitments to uphold peaceful assembly and free speech. It said Germany "expects the swift release of all peaceful protesters" and the inclusion of independent candidates who meet all legal requirements in the Moscow election.

Police block a square during an unsanctioned rally in the center of Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. Moscow police on Saturday detained nearly 90 people protesting the exclusion of some independent and opposition candidates from the city council ballot, a monitoring group said, a week after arresting nearly 1,400 at a similar protest. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Police officers detain a protestor, during an unsanctioned rally in the center of Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. Moscow police on Saturday detained nearly 200 people protesting the exclusion of some independent and opposition candidates from the city council ballot, a monitoring group said, a week after authorities arrested nearly 1,400 at a similar protest. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Police officers detain a protestor, during an unsanctioned rally in the center of Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. Moscow police detained more than 300 people Saturday who are protesting the exclusion of some independent and opposition candidates from the city council ballot, a monitoring group said. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Police officers detain a woman during an unsanctioned rally in the center of Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. Moscow police detained more than 300 people Saturday who are protesting the exclusion of some independent and opposition candidates from the city council ballot, a monitoring group said. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Police officers detain a woman during an unsanctioned rally in the center of Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. Moscow police detained more than 300 people Saturday who are protesting the exclusion of some independent and opposition candidates from the city council ballot, a monitoring group said. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Police officers detain a protestor, during an unsanctioned rally in the center of Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. Moscow police detained more than 300 people Saturday who are protesting the exclusion of some independent and opposition candidates from the city council ballot, a monitoring group said. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Police officers detain a protestor, during an unsanctioned rally in the center of Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. Moscow police detained more than 300 people Saturday who are protesting the exclusion of some independent and opposition candidates from the city council ballot, a monitoring group said. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Police officers detain a protestor, during an unsanctioned rally in the center of Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. Moscow police detained more than 300 people Saturday who are protesting the exclusion of some independent and opposition candidates from the city council ballot, a monitoring group said. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
A woman holds a poster with a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin and words reading