Thousands of Russians in the far east demonstrated Saturday for the third consecutive weekend against Kremlin policies after its popular governor was arrested. Sergei Furgal, the governor of the far eastern region of Khabarovsk Krai, was arrested on murder charges earlier this month, with many Russians seeing his prosecution as politically motivated.

Demonstrators chanted slogans such as “Putin resign!” and “Putin is a thief!” with some media outlets and opposition activists claiming as many as 50,000 citizens participated in the protest.

Furgal, a member of the nationalist Liberal Democratic party, defeated a Kremlin-backed candidate in the 2018 Khabarovsk Krai gubernatorial election. Anti-establishment sentiment helped Furgal land an unexpected landslide victory.

Furgal was arrested due to his alleged involvement in the murders of multiple businessmen in 2004 and 2005 in both Khabarovsk Krai and other nearby territories. Furgal has denied the charges, but Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed Furgal from his gubernatorial position due to a “loss of confidence.”

Khabarovsk Krai, which has a population of roughly 1.34 million, is located near the Strait of Tartary, which divides the Russian island of Sakhalin from mainland Asia.

The demonstrations against Putin come after a constitutional amendment was passed in a recent referendum, allowing him to stay in power until 2036. Putin has dominated Russian politics in the past two decades, making him the most prominent public figure in the post-Soviet era.

Human rights watchdog Freedom House has called Russia “not free” in regards to civil liberties. “Power in Russia’s authoritarian political system is concentrated in the hands of President Vladimir Putin,” the organization says on its website. “With loyalist security forces, a subservient judiciary, a controlled media environment, and a legislature consisting of a ruling party and pliable opposition factions, the Kremlin is able to manipulate elections and suppress genuine dissent.”