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2 Feb, 2021 22:18

Following Navalny sentencing, supporters gather to protest in Moscow but are met with heavy-handed riot police response (VIDEOS)

Following Navalny sentencing, supporters gather to protest in Moscow but are met with heavy-handed riot police response (VIDEOS)

Police have dispersed demonstrators at unauthorized rallies in Moscow and several other Russian cities, where protests took place over the sentencing of opposition figure Alexey Navalny, who was jailed for violating his probation.

Navalny was originally sentenced in 2014 to three-and-a-half years of probation for embezzling 30 million rubles ($400,000) from two companies, including the French cosmetics brand Yves Rocher. 

Also on rt.com Alexey Navalny jailed for over 2.5 years as Moscow Court says he violated terms of suspended sentence in ‘Yves Rocher’ fraud case

Moscow's Simonovsky District Court ruled on Tuesday that he had violated the terms of his sentence by not reporting to the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) while in Germany, where he was flown after the alleged “Novichok poisoning” in August 2020. He was sentenced to over two years in prison.

Videos from the streets of Moscow, later in the evening, showed several hundred, mostly younger, demonstrators calling for Navalny’s release. 

While no official information was available, OVD-Info – an opposition-linked police-tracking NGO that has received some Western funding – estimated that more than 900 people were detained in several Russian cities for taking part in the unauthorized protests.

One video from Moscow showed riot police rounding up a group of protesters who refused to disperse.

Another video shows a scared young woman who tells the police she took a wrong turn and ended up among the protesters, before being escorted to safety.

The call for protests came from Navalny team members based in the European Union. Several thousand people heeded the team’s call to demonstrate on Sunday as well, demanding his release, defying local restrictions. While most of the demonstrations were peaceful, several people were detained after attacking officers and reportedly setting a police van on fire in Moscow. 

Also on rt.com Moscow slams West’s ‘foreign interference’ as US & EU issue statements condemning jail sentence for opposition figure Navalny

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