News / Europe

Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny Released on Bail

Russia's top opposition leader Alexei Navalny hugs his wife Yulia in the courtroom in Kirov, July 19, 2013.
Russia's top opposition leader Alexei Navalny hugs his wife Yulia in the courtroom in Kirov, July 19, 2013.
Austin Malloy
— A Russian court on Friday released from custody Kremlin critic and opposition leader Alexei Navalny, a candidate in Moscow’s mayoral election scheduled for September.

The anti-corruption blogger was freed from jail pending an appeal less than 24 hours after being sentenced to five years on embezzlement charges. The court ruled that imprisoning Navalny, a candidate in Moscow’s September mayoral race, would deny him his right to run in the election.

After embracing his wife, Navalny spoke to the press, saying that he will continue to fight for as long as he has his freedom.

Navalny then thanked the thousands of demonstrators that gathered in Moscow, St. Petersburg and throughout Russia in unsanctioned rallies to protest the court’s decision on Thursday that Navalny is guilty of embezzling $500,000 worth of timber from a state-owned company while he was an adviser to a provincial governor.  

People protest in St. Petersburg, against a court verdict in Kirov sentencing Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny to five years in jail, July 18, 2013.People protest in St. Petersburg, against a court verdict in Kirov sentencing Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny to five years in jail, July 18, 2013.
x
People protest in St. Petersburg, against a court verdict in Kirov sentencing Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny to five years in jail, July 18, 2013.
People protest in St. Petersburg, against a court verdict in Kirov sentencing Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny to five years in jail, July 18, 2013.
In Moscow, where police detained as many as 250 protestors, chants of “Navalny” and “Freedom” echoed through the Russian capital.   

Ekaterina, a 29-year-old computer programmer, said she came to the protest in Moscow to demand justice in Russia’s courts. She said she does not trust Russia’s mass media and sees clear political motives in Navalny’s conviction.  

Also at the Moscow protest was 39-year-old Vasiliy Shabat, who said he sees Navalny as a welcome change to the current Kremlin elite.

“I think Navalny is kind of the first politician of the new wave. He’s very honest and straightforward. He’s very expressive in his style. He speaks in a style that I can understand, and I think many people in this town and in this country can understand,” he said.

Navalny was released on bail shortly after police quelled protests in cities across Russia.   

Opposition politician Vladimir Ryzhkov said the protests, however, did not impact the court’s decision to release the popular Kremlin critic. Ryzhkov claims the Kremlin has other motives. He said the Kremlin needs Navalny’s participation to bring legitimacy to Moscow’s upcoming September 8 mayoral election.  

As one of six registered candidates, Navalny trails United Russia candidate and acting Mayor Sergei Sobyanin by a huge margin. Recent polls show Sobyanin leading Navalny by at least 30 percent.   

Ryzhkov said he believes Sobyanin’s high rating may have prompted Navaly’s release. He said the Kremlin wants to demoralize the opposition by defeating Navalny at the polls.

But despite facing five years in a prison colony, and a conviction - if it stands - that would bar the opposition leader from future public service, many see Alexei Navalny’s release as a small, albeit temporary, victory for Russia’s political opposition.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Onguard Kremlin from: Zimbabwe
July 19, 2013 9:41 PM
Dont be fooled Navalny, they will throw you in prison after the mayoral elections and in particular after the G20 meeting in your country. Be warned!








Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid