Russia: more than 100 supporters of Navalny arrested – Politics


More than 100 of his supporters were arrested during protests over the birthday of jailed Russian Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. According to the civil rights portal OVD-Info, 109 people were arrested on Sunday in 23 cities. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the police have been extremely harsh on protesters, with arbitrary arrests. Anyone who denigrates the army, as the Russian leadership calls it, or publicly calls the war, which is still called a special operation in Russia, faces lengthy prison sentences.

Demonstrations in honor of Navalny were held not only in Russia but also in other countries. Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Jarmysch posted photos from Japan, Australia and Georgia, for example, on Twitter. A rally has also been announced in Berlin.

Navalny said he was in good spirits, although he would rather be with his family than in the penal camp 260 kilometers northeast of Moscow. “But the way life works is that social progress and a better future can only be achieved if a certain number of people are willing to pay the price for their right to their beliefs,” he wrote. “And there will surely come a day when telling the truth and upholding justice will be something common and safe in Russia.”

The Kremlin chief’s most prominent critic, Vladimir Putin, has been a political prisoner in jail for alleged fraud for more than two years. He has so far been sentenced to nine years in prison. In a new trial that is about to start, he risks another 30 years. In 2020, Navalny barely survived an attack with the neurotoxin Novichok, which the Russian state is accused of in the West. For months he was locked up almost continuously in an isolation cell measuring two by three meters. Human rights activists speak of torture.

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