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Russian Opposition Leader Navalny Sentenced to 20 Days in Jail

  • VOA News

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny talks to journalists after he was sentenced by a court to 20 days in jail on charges of repeatedly violating laws governing the organisation of public meetings and rallies, during a hearing in Moscow, Russia, Oct. 2, 2017.

A Moscow court has sentenced leading opposition politician Alexei Navalny to 20 days in jail on charges that he violated the legal procedure for organizing public gatherings.

The 41-year-old anti-corruption blogger was arrested Friday for what police said were "repeated calls to take part in unsanctioned public events."

Navalny plans to challenge Vladimir Putin in Russia's presidential election next March, though Putin, who has ruled Russia for 17 years, has not yet officially announced that he will run for a fourth presidential term.

Russia's Central Election Commission says Navalny is ineligible to run for president because of a conviction on an embezzlement charge, which the opposition leader and his supporters say was politically motivated.

At the time of his arrest, Navalny was preparing to travel to the city of Nizhny Novgorod, about 400 kilometers east of Moscow, to attend a presidential campaign rally.

Navalny has been campaigning in cities across Russia.

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