Monday, 20 August, 2018

Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny Is Detained On Day Of Protests

Ellis Copeland | 22 June, 2017, 08:20

Over 200 people were detained on June 12, 2017 by police at opposition protests called by Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, said a Russian NGO tracking arrests.

The demonstrators appeared predominantly young - those who were born or grew up during Mr Putin's 17 years in power.

Subsequently, Navalny has been sentenced to 30 days in jail for repeating an "offense" he "committed" in March - disobeying police orders and organizing unsanctioned protests.

Medvedev dismissed Navalny's allegations as politically motivated "nonsense" and called the opposition politician a muck-raking charlatan. The protests were deliberately organized on one of the Russian government's most important holidays, when hundreds of authorized events are also held.

In St. Petersburg, an Associated Press reporter counted about 500 people forced into police buses.

Prominent Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has been jailed for 30 days by a court in Russian Federation after authorities accused him of helping to organise public protests.

Authorities in Moscow had authorized a venue for the protest away from the city center. Amnesty is able to confirm dozens of arrests in Moscow, and there are credible reports of numerous arrests in St Petersburg, Vladivostok, Kaliningrad, Sochi, Tula, Lipetsk and Blagoveschensk. Numerous protesters who followed him were young and male - but not all of them, by far.

Navalny announced the change less than 24 hours before the planned anticorruption protests across the country on the Russia Day holiday.

Navalny was arrested in the morning, as he was leaving the block of flats where he lives, and charged with the administrative offence of repeatedly violating the rules of public assemblies, punishable by up to 30 days of detention. But Navalny was detained early in the day. It would be his fourth presidential term.

Navalny has proven to be a strategic thinker compared to other opposition leaders, who often spent more time squabbling among themselves than trying to expand their base beyond Moscow and St. Petersburg.

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Navalny's Fund for Fighting Corruption had been providing updates on protests throughout the country Monday. Putin has alternated between Prime Minister and President since 2000.

Navalny called on Russians stage protests on Monday - Russia Day - to show their outrage at alleged corruption at the highest levels.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer called "on the government of Russian Federation to immediately release all peaceful protesters", detained in nationwide marches.

Those protests were the largest since a wave of anti-Kremlin demonstrations in 2012 and resulted in more than 1,000 arrests, putting rare domestic pressure on Putin, who is expected to run for and win re-election next year.

The Russian government had taken notice of the protests that happened in March.

"I'm proud that there are tens of thousands of courageous young people in the country who are not afraid of any threats and ready to go out to the streets to ask the authorities some relevant questions", Navalny said in a YouTube video posted earlier this month.

However, opinion polls suggest he would stand little chance of beating Mr Putin, who continues to enjoy favourable ratings. It remains unclear too whether the Kremlin will let Navalny run for the presidency.

But the 41-year-old lawyer turned political street campaigner hopes anger over corruption may boost his support.

On his blog last week, he wrote: "I want changes".

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