Russian opposition politician Navalny sentenced to prison

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has had a suspended sentence in the Yves Rocher case replaced with a real one, Vot tak TV reports. The politician was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison. He served a year of house arrest, so that leaves 2.5.

A large number of law enforcement officers were pulled to the Moscow City Court, where the decision was taken, and the area near the building was cordoned off. Detentions took place in the area of the Moscow City Court.

Police arbitrarily detained people near the metro station Preobrazhenskaya Ploshchad and near the place where the Moscow City Court is located. The media reported more than 300 detainees.

Politician Alexei Navalny was detained at the Sheremetyevo airport on January 17. On that day, he returned to Russia after being treated at Berlin’s Charité clinic, where he had been taken in August 2020 following an attempt on him with the Novichok poison. A journalistic investigation revealed that the FSB had been behind the poisoning.

Even before Navalny’s return, the Federal Penitentiary Service announced that it had put the politician on a wanted list. According to the prison service, Navalny violated the terms of his probation in the Yves Rocher case. Allegedly, the inspectorate did not know about his treatment and address in Germany. However, the politician’s lawyers denied this.

The politician’s lawyers have repeatedly stated that the claims of the Federal Penitentiary Service that the inspectors allegedly did not know Navalny’s address in Germany were untrue. Moreover, it was not the Federal Penitentiary Service that demanded to send the opposition leader to the detention center, but the head of the Department of Internal Affairs, that is, an employee of another agency – the Interior Ministry. Moreover, the 30 days in Matrosskaya Tishina prison was given to the opposition leader under an article, which has nothing to do with him at all.

After Alexei Navalny was detained, on January 23 and 31, there were mass protests in dozens of Russian cities demanding the release of the opposition politician. The protests were violently dispersed by the security forces and thousands of people were detained.