Russian court sentences Alexei Navalny to 30 days in prison

Clay Curtis
May 17, 2018

Russia's opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been jail by a Moscow court on Tuesday for his role in organising nation-wide protests against President Vladimir Putin.

Navalny was one of more than 1,600 people detained by police during demonstrations ahead of Putin's inauguration at Pushkinskaya Square in Moscow on May 5, but was released the next day.

A Moscow district court issued the sentence on charges of recurrent organization of an unauthorized rally, Russia's Tass news agency reported.

The court then launched into a second trial on a separate charge - refusing to comply with a police order - which carries a maximum sentence of 15 days.

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Navalny went to the ECHR in 2015 seeking 50,000 euros in damages for the authorities' refusal to issue him a passport until 2017, when he was allowed to seek treatment overseas for a green dye attack that nearly blinded him.

The charismatic 41-year-old politician, who was barred from challenging Putin in March's presidential election, had called on Russians to stage rallies across the country on May 5 under the slogan "Not our Tsar".

The jail sentence could reflect the authorities' desire to keep Navalny behind bars to prevent him from staging more protests in the run-up to the World Cup hosted by Russian Federation that could tarnish its opening on June 14.

About it Navalny wrote on Twitter. "And I know I'm not alone".

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