Russia Frees Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny After 25 Days
Presidential Candidate Was Jailed For Leading Anti-Corruption Protest
Image by Evgeny Feldman
Alexei Navalny, the 2018 presidential candidate, anti-corruption activist, and general thorn in the Kremlin’s side, was released from jail on Friday in Moscow after being sentenced to 25 days in jail for leading an ‘illegal’ anti-corruption protests across Russia. He was arrested shortly after returning from Spain for eye surgery after being burned by chemicals in a facial attack.
Officially he was jailed for leading protesters to a place where they ‘had no permit to gather,’ reported the New York Times. Although he has said he wants to compete in the presidential election in March, he legally cannot due to an embezzlement conviction that supporters say was trumped up to prevent that from happening, politically motivated.
His spokesman, Kira Yarmysh posted a photo on Twitter showing his release.
“We have broken this wall of censorship and lies that Mr. Putin was building for the last 18 years and we have managed to relay our ideas to millions,” Mr. Navalny said in the video. “The Kremlin and regional governments made the fight against our anticorruption campaign and my presidential campaign their main priority,” Navalny said in a video statement released later. “We will certainly come out for new rallies even though there will surely be attempts to ban them.”
In other news, a Navalny volunteer was hospitalized after being beaten by Russian security forces.