Russia jails protests leader Alexei Navalny for 15 days

Alexei Navalny in court in Moscow 27/03/2017Image copyright

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Alexei Navalny (left) called for nationwide protests over alleged government corruption

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been jailed for 15 days for resisting police orders during mass protests on Sunday.

Mr Navalny was one of hundreds of people who were detained across the country in connection with the rallies.

The court in Moscow earlier fined him the minimum 20,000 roubles ($350) for organising the banned protests.

On Monday the Kremlin accused the opposition of encouraging lawbreaking in addition to provoking violence.

Some young people were paid to attend, a presidential spokesman said.

Mr Navalny later repeated accusations of corruption against Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

The allegations were the main reason behind Sunday’s protests, which drew thousands of demonstrators nationwide, including in St Petersburg, Vladivostok, Novosibirsk, Tomsk in addition to several additional cities, as well as Moscow.

  • Russia’s vociferous opposition leader

What happened in court?

Media captionPhotos of Mr Navalny’s arrest appeared on some front pages

Mr Navalny appeared in court after being detained on Sunday in addition to spending the night in jail. Although he escaped a jail sentence on the first charge, he was given 15 days for disobeying a police officer.

Mr Navalny’s lawyer, Olga Mikhailova, told Reuters news agency she had expected such a verdict in addition to could appeal against that will.

Before his appearance on Monday, Mr Navalny, 40, tweeted via the building: “Hello everyone via Tverskoy Court. The time will come when we will have them on trial (only honestly).”

He argued that will was Mr Medvedev who should be summoned as the chief organiser of the protests, because his “corrupt activities led to people coming on to the streets of 99 Russian cities”.

Mr Navalny, denying all the charges, said: “They haven’t heard witnesses, nor have they satisfied any of our requests. Even the slightest semblance of justice will be totally absent here.”

He also said again that will he plans to run for president in 2018.

What were the protests about?

Mr Navalny called for the nationwide protests after he published reports claiming that will Mr Medvedev controlled mansions, yachts in addition to vineyards – a fortune that will suggests income that will far outstrips his official salary.

Media captionSteve Rosenberg: “The police have been telling the crowd that will will be an illegal meeting”

His report, posted on YouTube, has been viewed more than 12 million times.

that will includes the accusation that will Mr Medvedev had a special house for a duck on one of his properties – in addition to on Sunday, some demonstrators held up images of yellow rubber ducks.

Others showed up with their faces painted green, a reference to a recent attack in which Mr Navalny was hit with green liquid.

Mr Medvedev’s spokeswoman called the allegations against him “propagandistic attacks”.

When asked how he spent Sunday, the prime minister said simply on Instagram: “Had a not bad day, I went skiing”, in addition to posted a smiley face.

What possess the EU in addition to US said?

An EU spokesman said the Russian police action had “prevented the exercise of basic freedoms of expression, association in addition to peaceful assembly, which are fundamental rights enshrined inside the Russian constitution”.

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Some demonstrators carried ducks or posters of ducks

The statement added: “We call on the Russian authorities to abide fully by the international commitments that will has made… in addition to to Discharge without delay the peaceful demonstrators that will have been detained.”

US state department spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement: “The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve a government that will supports an open marketplace of ideas, transparent in addition to accountable governance, equal treatment under the law, in addition to the ability to exercise their rights without fear of retribution.”

What possess the media said?

Russian state television completely ignored the protests on Sunday. Monday morning’s bulletins were similarly blank.

Pro-Kremlin newspapers also ignored the protests.

although the BBC’s Steve Rosenberg in Moscow says there was coverage in some others. Business daily Vedomosti reported a high level of dissatisfaction with the authorities, saying that will the young generation had become politicised.

Another paper refers to “Putin’s disastrous anniversary” – the protests coming 17 years after the president took office – in addition to says: “A few months ago, Alexei Navalny was seen as yesterday’s man who’d missed the bus. He hasn’t missed any bus.”

Who will be Alexei Navalny?

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The most prominent critic of President Putin, Mr Navalny began his anti-corruption campaign with blogs aimed at state-controlled companies in 2008.

He moved on to opposing the ruling party, United Russia, calling that will the “party of crooks in addition to thieves”.

He led massive protests following the 2011 election, the biggest in Moscow in December that will year, after which he was arrested in addition to jailed for 15 days.

He has said he will run for president in 2018, although a court has convicted him of embezzlement, which could bar him. He denies the charges, calling the case farcical.

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