Navalny set free af­ter 30 days in jail

The Phnom Penh Post - - WORLD -

RUS­SIAN op­po­si­tion leader Alexei Navalny said he had been freed on Thursday, the same day the World Cup was due to be­gin in the coun­try, af­ter serv­ing a 30-day sen­tence for or­gan­is­ing an il­le­gal protest.

“I’m with you again af­ter a 30-day busi­ness trip. I’m so happy to be free,” he wrote on Twit­ter.

The 42-year-old was sen­tenced a month ago af­ter call­ing for the demon­stra­tions ahead of Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin’s fourth in­au­gu­ra­tion.

Navalny’s lawyer and sup­port­ers said the trial was po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated and the op­po­si­tion ac­tivist said his rights had been vi­o­lated.

The charis­matic politi­cian, barred from chal­leng­ing

Putin in March’s pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, had called on Rus­sians to stage ral­lies across the coun­try on May 5 un­der the slo­gan “Not our Czar”.

Nearly 1,600 pro­test­ers were de­tained in 27 cities across Rus­sia, ac­cord­ing to OVD-Info, an in­de­pen­dent mon­i­tor that tracks ar­rests.

Navalny him­self was grabbed by po­lice and car­ried away shortly af­ter ap­pear­ing in Moscow’s packed Pushkin Square.

The Eu­ro­pean Union con­demned “po­lice bru­tal­ity and mass ar­rests” fol­low­ing the demon­stra­tions, which saw of­fi­cers in sev­eral cities beat pro­test­ers with trun­cheons and drag them along the ground.

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