Alexei Navalny has been in a concentration camp for several years. On Saturday, the judge said, a Moscow court rejected a complaint by Putin’s critic against a ruling issued in early February. The process is criticized for being politically motivated.
The prison sentence of three and a half years in the concentration camp remains. However, the actual prison period should be shorter, since Nawalani’s attorneys assume that several months of house arrest and earlier prison terms will be attributed to him. His team criticized the process as being politically motivated.
He is said to have insulted veterans
Judges accused the 44-year-old of violating probation terms in a previous criminal case while he was recovering from a Novitschok neurotoxin attack in Germany. Navalny again described the accusation that he wanted to hide it from the courts as “ridiculous” on Saturday. He returned to Russia voluntarily at the end of January. “The whole world knows where I am.” The ruling also sparked heavy criticism at the international level.
Just hours after the prison camp sentence was confirmed, Navalny was also sentenced to a heavy fine on Saturday. On charges of insulting a WWII veteran, the Moscow court fined the opposition politician a fine of 850,000 rubles (about 9,400 euros). This is nearly twice the average annual salary in Russia.
Navalny was critical of a video that was broadcast by Russian state media last summer. In it, many citizens – including a 94-year-old veteran of World War II – campaigned for a constitutional amendment that also secured the power of President Vladimir Putin. Navalny insulted people in the clip on Twitter with “traitors”. In the process, he relied on freedom of expression.
Amnesty International is calling for a release
Only on Wednesday the European Court of Human Rights asked Russia to release Navalny immediately from custody. The 2017 Human Rights Court ruled that the ruling in this previous trial is clearly inappropriate. Moscow rejected the request, calling it an interference in internal affairs.
The government agency RIA Novosti reported that the leader of the opposition may be transferred to a concentration camp next week. The exact day was not initially mentioned.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International wants to hand over a petition to the Kremlin for Navalny’s release. It was said that nearly 200,000 signatures were collected in several countries around the world. Navalny is being persecuted for his peaceful political anti-corruption activities and his right to freedom of expression.
Mass protests across the country
Navalny’s arrest nearly a month ago sparked mass protests in Russia. More than 11,000 people were arrested. Nawalni’s team recently announced that they want the protests to continue in the spring and summer.
The opposition leader collapsed on 20 August while on a domestic flight. He was transferred for the first time to a hospital in Siberia. Two days later, he was flown to Berlin for treatment. According to studies by various laboratories, he was poisoned by the war agent Novichok. On the other hand, Russia does not see any evidence of poisoning, and thus there is no reason to conduct an investigation. (SDA)