Protests in Moscow against Navalny’s verdict: over 1,400 people detained
Hundreds detained in Moscow during protests following Alexei Navalny prison sentence
The court replaced the suspended sentence of the opposition leader with a real prison term
MOSCOW – In the center of Moscow, clashes broke out between police and protesters who came to express disagreement with the condemnation of opposition politician Alexei Navalny to three and a half years in prison. 1145 people detained.
In St. Petersburg – 246 detainees. The police made detentions in Izhevsk, Omsk, Chelyabinsk, as well as in Ufa, Kirov, Cheboksary, Mytishchi, Krasnodar.
According to OVD-Info, the total number of those detained in Russia after Navalny was sentenced was 1,408.
Police and Rosgvardia units, as well as special equipment, were pulled up to Manezhnaya Square in Moscow on Tuesday evening..
Pushkinskaya Square was completely fenced off with metal fences, a cordon was set up around it.
The Okhotny Ryad, Ploschad Revolyutsii, Aleksandrovsky Sad and Teatralnaya metro stations were closed to the entrance and exit. Mobile internet is disabled in these areas.
Shortly before this, the headquarters of Alexei Navalny called on all supporters of the opposition to come to Manezhnaya Square in the center of the capital in protest against sending Navalny to the colony.
By eleven o’clock in the evening Moscow time, at least fifty detainees were known. At the same time, there were already several thousand participants in the action, eyewitnesses reported. Cars passing through the central streets of the city often honked.
Earlier Tuesday, a court sentenced Navalny to three and a half years in prison, despite international criticism and public outrage at home over the imprisonment of one of the Kremlin’s most outspoken critics..
Given that the opposition figure spent ten months under house arrest during the previous stage of the proceedings, this verdict means that Navalny will spend the next two years and eight months in prison..
The court ruled that Navalny had violated the rules of the probation he was sentenced to in 2014 by failing to notify the FSIN of his whereabouts when he was evacuated to Berlin for treatment after a poisoning that nearly turned out to be fatal..
People who managed to get close to the courthouse where the verdict was announced had to stand in nearby parks or wander behind police cordons to see the building.
“We came here a long time ago, but as soon as a few people gathered, the police drove us away,” said Natasha, 55, who teaches at a local college..
“This will only anger people. We all see what’s going on. This is a political decision, ”said 24-year-old shop owner Dmitry.
Among the detainees, despite the documents they had, were several journalists from leading Russian media..
They joined some 10,000 people detained in the crackdown on national protests in support of Navalny over the past two weeks..
However, as Navalny’s trial was still ongoing, there were signs that Moscow’s temporary detention facilities were overcrowded..
On Tuesday morning, a group of protesters in Moscow recorded a video message from an overcrowded police bus they said they had been in since they had been arrested 40 hours earlier..
They complained about lack of food and water and lack of access to toilets.
Human rights activists reported that similar complaints about poor maintenance were received from ITTs throughout the city..
Navalny was detained in January at a Moscow airport upon arrival from Germany, where he spent nearly five months after being poisoned during a trip to Siberia last August..
European medical experts later determined that the opposition politician had been poisoned by the Novichok military nerve agent, which was first produced in the Soviet Union..
Navalny claims he was poisoned by the FSB on the orders of President Vladimir Putin.