Canada Relatives of the opponent Navalny detained after searches
Alexei Navalny's return to Russia solidifies opposition leader's role as 'anti-Putin'
Alexei Navalny, Russia's main opposition figure, is in a Moscow jail, with his supporters confronting the existential question of how his political movement will survive with him sidelined, in all likelihood for a very long time.His supporters are also confronting the existential question of how his political movement will survive with him sidelined, in all likelihood for a very long time after he was detained in Moscow on Sunday.
Several relatives of the imprisoned Russian opponent Alexei Navalny were taken into custody on Thursday, before a court examining an appeal against his own arrest and a few days before new protests planned throughout the country.
These detentions also follow a series of searches that targeted the apartments of relatives of the anti-corruption activist and sworn enemy of the Kremlin, as well as the premises of his organization on Wednesday evening. Mr. Navalny himself has been the subject of multiple court cases since his return to Russia on January 17.
Russia: calls to demonstrate for Navalny despite the police threat
© Provided by Le Point L The supporters of the opponent Alexeï Navalny called for demonstrations on Saturday throughout Russia to demand his release, despite the risk of violent police repression and multiple pressures from the authorities. From Moscow to Vladivostok, the team of the notorious anti-corruption activist, victim of suspected poisoning this summer, issued calls for a rally in 65 Russian cities.
The opponent's brother, Oleg Navalny, and rising figure in the movement Lioubov Sobol have both been detained for 48 hours for "violation of current health standards" due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to the Mr. Navalny's team.
"Oleg Navalny has just been detained for 48 hours at the Main Investigations Department of the Interior Ministry (...) This means that he is now a suspect in this case," the right-hand man wrote on Twitter. by Alexeï Navalny, Ivan Jdanov.
Ms. Sobol's lawyer, Vladimir Voronin, denounced on Twitter "complete delirium and arbitrariness".
An activist from the protest group Pussy Riot, Maria Alekhina, was also detained for 48 hours for the same reason, her comrade Nadejda Tolokonnikova said on Instagram.
More than 2000 arrests during protests by Navalny supporters against Putin
More than 2000 rally participants were arrested on Saturday in nationwide protests by tens of thousands of supporters of the Kremlin critic Alexej Navalny against Russian President Vladimir Putin. Protesters were taken away by riot police and beaten with batons. Navalny's wife Julia Navalnaya was also temporarily arrested and released that afternoon.
Anastassia Vassilieva, the head of a doctors' union partly linked to Mr. Navalny, suffered the same fate, according to Mr. Zhdanov, as did other collaborators of the opponent.
Video released to media and social media showed Ms Vassilieva playing the piano at her home while investigators searched her apartment.
- Calls for demonstrations -
Video: Russia: Alexei Navalny's spokesperson placed in detention (Le Figaro)
These detentions come at a time when a court must examine the appeal of 'Alexei Navalny from his own arrest over a week ago.
The opponent was detained until at least February 15 after his return to Moscow from five months of convalescence in Germany for an alleged poisoning of which he accuses Vladimir Poutine and the security services (FSB).
Wednesday's searches notably targeted the home of his wife Yulia, his brother Oleg and his spokesperson Kira Iarmych, sentenced last Friday to nine days in prison, as well as the premises of his organization, the Fund for the Fight against Corruption.
Russia: Western countries condemn the repression of pro-Navalny protests
© AFP - KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV A demonstrator takes part in the mobilization demanding the release of Russian opponent Alexei Navalny in Moscow, January 23, 2021. EU , the United States and Canada condemned the repression of the demonstrations of this Saturday, January 23 in Russia, organized at the appeal of the opponent Alexeï Navalny to demand his release, resulting in more than 2,500 arrests, as well as clashes in several large cities.
The homes or premises linked to Mr. Navalny have been searched several times in recent years and for various reasons, the opponent's team denouncing a political harassment.
According to Zhdanov, these raids took place as part of an investigation for violation of "health standards" in force because of the coronavirus epidemic, after the demonstrations that took place across Russia on Saturday in the appeal of the opponent.
The Ministry of the Interior assured that the organizers of the demonstrations, which had not been authorized and which led to nearly 3,900 arrests, "created a threat of the spread of the coronavirus".
Around twenty investigations were opened at the same time, in particular for calls for disturbance, hooliganism, violence against the police or even for inciting minors to commit illegal actions.
Telecoms gendarme Roskomnadzor announced for his part that he was going to sanction social networks for having left messages online, according to him, inciting minors to go and demonstrate.
For his part, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov defended the security forces on Thursday who "are doing their job".
"There were multiple violations of the law" during the protests on Saturday, he told reporters.
The supporters of Mr. Navalny called them for new gatherings on Sunday, while Alexeï Navalny must go before judges next week and risk imprisonment.
Mr. Navalny's team hopes to profit from the success of an investigation by the opponent accusing President Vladimir Putin of benefiting from a sumptuous "palace" by the Black Sea, seen over 98 million times on YouTube . The Kremlin denies these accusations.
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Russia judges again, for defamation, the opponent Alexeï Navalny .
RUSSIA-POLITICAL-NAVALNY: Russia judges again, for defamation, the opponent Alexeï Navalny © Reuters / Maxim Shemetov RUSSIA JUDGE AGAIN, FOR DEFAMATION, OPPONENT ALEXEÏ NAVALNY MOSCOW (Reuters) - Alexei Navalny appears again in Russian court on Friday on defamation charges, despite calls from Western powers for the release of the opponent imprisoned in connection with a separate case and while the head of European diplomacy is expected in Moscow.