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Alexey Navalny to be held in custody for 30 days following his return to Russia

The opposition chief flew again to Moscow from Germany on Sunday, and was instantly detained by masked officers. He was held in a single day a police station within the metropolis of Khimki, on the outskirts of Moscow.

Navalny was positioned on the nation’s federal wished listing final month for violating phrases of probation associated to a 2014 conviction for fraud, which he dismisses as politically motivated.

Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) has requested {that a} courtroom exchange his suspended sentence with a jail time period. If the request is granted, Navalny will doubtless be jailed for 3.5 years.

On Monday morning, Navalny confronted an surprising listening to scrambled collectively in a makeshift courtroom contained in the police station that was slammed by his supporters as a “circus.”

The activist’s attorneys mentioned they have been handed a discover in regards to the proceedings simply minutes earlier than it was scheduled to start out, and did not have an opportunity to evaluate any paperwork or speak to Navalny.

Navalny himself was escorted out of a cell moments later beneath the impression he would lastly be capable of meet his protection group, however discovered himself within the courtroom listening to. In his first look since he was detained by border inspectors at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport final evening, Navalny slammed the proceedings as “lawlessness at its highest point” and a “mockery of justice.”

His spokesperson Kira Yarmysh famous that the one individuals who appeared to have recognized upfront in regards to the listening to have been a state TV crew and reporters from a pro-Kremlin tabloid, main Navalny to request that “real journalists” are allowed inside. About 200 journalists and supporters gathered outdoors the police station the place the listening to befell, in response to the Mediazona information outlet.

In a video posted to his YouTube account following the courtroom determination to maintain him in custody, Navalny urged his followers to “not be silent” and take to the streets.

“What are these crooks sitting in their bunkers are most afraid of? You know this very well. [They are scared of] people taking the streets. That is the political factor you can’t ignore; that’s the most important factor, the essence of politics. So come to the streets, not for me but yourself and your future,” Navalny mentioned.

“I urge you not to be silent, to resist, to take to the streets. No one but ourselves will protect us, and there are so many of us that if we want to achieve something, we will achieve it.”

The head of Navalny’s regional headquarters, Leonid Volkov, introduced a nationwide demonstration to demand his launch on Saturday.

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny dupes spy into revealing how he was poisoned

Navalny has been a perennial thorn in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s facet, elevating considerations for his security within the nation.

A joint investigation by CNN and the group Bellingcat implicated the Russian Security Service (FSB) in Navalny’s August poisoning, piecing collectively how an elite unit on the company adopted Navalny’s group all through a visit to Siberia, when Navalny fell sick from publicity to military-grade Novichok.

The investigation additionally discovered that this unit, which included chemical weapons consultants, had adopted Navalny on greater than 30 journeys to and from Moscow since 2017. Russia denies involvement in Navalny’s poisoning. Putin himself mentioned in December that if Russian safety providers had wished to kill Navalny, they “would have finished” the job.

Nevertheless, a number of Western officers and Navalny himself have overtly blamed the Kremlin. Governments around the globe criticized Navalny’s arrest on Sunday and referred to as for him to be launched.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mentioned the “United States strongly condemns Russia’s decision to arrest Aleksey” in a press release Sunday. “We note with grave concern that his detention is the latest in a series of attempts to silence Navalny and other opposition figures and independent voices who are critical of Russian authorities.”

UK Foreign Minister Dominic Raab referred to as Navalny’s arrest “appalling” and mentioned the opposition chief had been “the victim of a despicable crime” in a tweet Monday. “Rather than persecuting Mr. Navalny Russia should explain how a chemical weapon came to be used on Russian soil.”

CNN-Bellingcat investigation identifies Russian specialists who trailed Putin's nemesis Alexey Navalny before he was poisoned

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov deflected the criticism, saying the the West was making an attempt to “divert attention” from its personal issues.

“We saw yesterday how [the West] seized on the news about Navalny’s return to the Russian Federation. You can clearly feel the joy with which the carbon-copy comments are incoming,” mentioned Lavrov throughout his annual press convention Monday. “With joy, because it seems to allow Western politicians to think that they will be able to divert attention from the deepest crisis in which the liberal model of development finds itself.”

Russian officers normally try to sustain appearances of an neutral judicial system, however the optics and swiftness in processing Navalny’s case Monday shocked his supporters.

“What is happening with Navalny is worse than a circus. What remote hearing? On what grounds [is] some Khimki cop is trying to keep a person in custody? This is pure hell. Will they shoot him in the end?” Vladimir Voronin, a lawyer with the Anti-Corruption Foundation, mentioned in a tweet.

Symbolically, a portrait of Genrikh Yagoda, the top of the Soviet Union’s NKVD secret service through the prime years of Joseph Stalin’s 1930s purges, loomed over Navalny within the listening to room on Monday, in response to footage posted on-line.

Mary Ilyushina reported and wrote from Moscow; Jack Guy contributed to this report.

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