The Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been sentenced to 10 days in prison for taking part in a protest in support of a journalist last month.
“Navalny got 10 days,” his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh wrote on Twitter. Prosecutors accuse Navalny of breaking Russia’s strict protest laws during the June 12 rally.
Navalny was one of more than 400 people detained when police sought to break up the peaceful protest that called for an end of the alleged impunity of law enforcement agencies. He was released several hours later.
The protest was held on a public holiday after police suddenly dropped trumped-up charges against respected journalist Ivan Golunov.
It was initially called to press for the freedom of Golunov who was released on the eve of the march following several days of public outrage.
Many saw Golunov’s release as a Kremlin attempt to crush the new protest wave.
Police were seen beating protesters and detaining some passers-by at the rally, and Amnesty International accused authorities of “contempt for solidarity and rights.”
Over the last decade, Navalny has emerged as one of the key opponents of President Vladimir Putin, organising some of the biggest anti-Kremlin protests in recent years.