Russia Protests: Kremlin Critic Navalny Jailed, Hundreds Arrested
Albanian Daily News
Published June 13, 2017
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was found guilty late Monday of calling repeatedly for unlawful protests and sentenced to 30 days of detention, his spokeswoman said.
His sentencing followed a day of nationwide anti-corruption demonstrations, during which nearly 1,400 people were arrested amid scuffles with police and reports of tear gas being used.
Navalny, in court in Moscow, accused the judge of helping the police write the justification for his arrest and showed defiance by praising the protesters as "brave, wonderful people."
"I am very pleased that people came out, I am proud that I am a part of this movement in which brave, wonderful people, are not afraid to go out on the streets. Even under the threat of some detentions and so on," he said.
After his sentencing, Navalny tweeted, "30 days. Not only they robbed the whole country, but I'll miss Depeche Mode concert in Moscow because of them."
His wife, Yulia, reported Navalny, 41, was detained at his Moscow home, before he could join the thousands of protesters who clashed with police in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
The opposition leader, who plans to run against Vladimir Putin in next year's presidential election, had mobilized support on social networks in the hope the rallies would rattle the Kremlin.
Nearly 1,400 people were arrested in Moscow and St. Petersburg on Monday, according to OVD, an independent group monitoring arrests. Of those, 825 people were detained during protests in the capital and 548 arrested in St. Petersburg, the group said.
Earlier in the day, the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs posted different numbers for the two cities: 150 in Moscow and 500 in St. Petersburg.
Russian authorities had declared the planned rally in the capital was illegal, and warned those intending taking part that there would be consequences.
"Law enforcement agencies will be forced to take all necessary measures to stop provocations, mass unrest or any actions leading to a violation of public security, creating conditions for threatening the life and health of citizens," the prosecutor general said in a statement.