Monday 22 January 2018

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny released from jail

Alexei Navalny, right, arrives at his office in Moscow (AP)
Alexei Navalny, right, arrives at his office in Moscow (AP)

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been released from jail after serving 25 days for organising a wave of protests.

"We will, of course, not bend under any pressure," he said after he returned to the office of his Fund for Fighting Corruption.

He was arrested on June 12 as thousands of protesters gathered for an unsanctioned demonstration in Moscow.

Protests in response to Mr Navalny's call occurred in more than 100 Russian cities and towns that day, one of the strongest showings by the marginalised opposition for several years.

Nearly 2,000 people were detained at the protests, most of them in Moscow and St Petersburg.

Mr Navalny was sentenced to 30 days in jail, but a court reduced that to 25.

On Friday, he told supporters at his headquarters that he was glad that "work continued even in my absence, and I will continue working on it in the same cheerful manner".

He has been jailed several times in connection with protests and convicted in a fraud case widely seen as politically motivated.

The anti-corruption campaigner, the most persistent thorn in the Kremlin's side, aims to run for president in 2018.

AP

Press Association

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