Tuesday 23 October 2018

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny freed and then put back in prison

The political opponent of Vladimir Putin was ordered to serve another 20 days in custody.

Police officers detain Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny as he leaves a detention centre (Dmitry Serebryakov/AP)
Police officers detain Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny as he leaves a detention centre (Dmitry Serebryakov/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was freed from a 30-day sentence but detained again on Monday and ordered to spend 20 more days behind bars.

Mr Navalny, President Vladimir Putin’s most visible opponent, has served numerous jail sentences for spearheading a series of unsanctioned protests across Russia.

Just as he walked out of a detention centre in Moscow for organising an unauthorised rally earlier this year, a police officer took him away.

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Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny (Dmitry Serebryakov/AP)

The Simonovsky District Court later sentenced him to 20 days in custody on charges of staging another rally earlier this month that caused bodily harm to police officers and damaged a patrol vehicle.

Mr Navalny denied the allegation, saying that as he was serving the 30-day jail sentence he could not have organised the unsanctioned rally.

Mr Navalny’s further detention comes amid a wave of popular discontent against an increase in the retirement age, an issue that angered Russians across the political spectrum.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin (Dmitri Lovetsky/AP)

A drop in approval ratings for Mr Putin and outrage at the changes in the pension system have weighed heavily on Kremlin candidates running in regional elections in Russian regions.

Early results from runoff votes in Sunday’s gubernatorial elections in two Russian regions see opposition candidates beating Kremlin incumbents.

A week earlier, an opposition candidate for governor in the Far East mounted protests following widespread reports of vote-rigging in favour of the Kremlin candidate.

Several days later, election authorities cancelled the results of the elections and called a new vote.

Press Association

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