The Latest: Russian opposition leader Navalny gets jail term

AP News
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Posted: Mar 27, 2017 8:25 AM
The Latest: Russian opposition leader Navalny gets jail term

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Russian opposition protests (all times local):

3:20 p.m.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been jailed for 15 days for resisting police orders.

A court in Moscow on Monday ruled to arrest Navalny, who was detained on Sunday as he was making his way to a massive protest in Moscow.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets across Russia on Sunday in what were largely unauthorized demonstrations against government corruption. Navalny and his associates organized the protests, which were the biggest show of defiance in Russia since the 2011-2012 anti-government protests.

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2:15 p.m.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the organizer of a wave of nationwide protests that rattled authorities, has been fined 20,000 rubles ($340) by a Moscow court.

It's a comparatively lenient punishment for organizing an unsanctioned rally for which he faced up to 15 days in jail.

The court has yet to deliver a ruling on charges accusing Navalny of resisting arrest.

Navalny was arrested on Sunday as he walked to a protest gathering in Moscow and spent the night in jail before appearing in court.

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1:05 p.m.

The Kremlin has accused the organizers of anti-corruption protests in Russia of provoking violence.

Tens of thousands took to the streets across Russia in protests that were largely not authorized by authorities. Opposition leader Alexei Navalny, arrested on his way to a protest in Moscow, is currently in court.

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the Kremlin respects the right to protest but dismissed Sunday's demonstrations as unlawful. He lashed out at unnamed organizers for "consciously misleading people" and encouraging them to come.

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1 p.m.

The German government has criticized the arrest of hundreds of opposition protesters in Moscow and other Russian cities.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert has urged Russia to respect human rights, which he described as being "of great importance for Russian democracy."

Separately, the German government criticized the mass arrest of protesters in Belarus.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said the arrests were a "setback" compared to positive developments seen in Belarus over recent months.

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10:25 a.m.

The European Union is calling on Russian authorities to release demonstrators detained during a series of protests across the country on Sunday.

Russia's opposition staged dozens of protests on Sunday and hundreds were arrested — including Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who is President Vladimir Putin's most prominent critic.

The EU's foreign policy arm said in a statement early Monday that police operations "prevented the exercise of basic freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly — which are fundamental rights enshrined in the Russian constitution."

It called on Russia to abide fully by its international commitments to uphold those rights "and to release without delay the peaceful demonstrators that have been detained."

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10:15 a.m.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is expected to make a court appearance after being detained at a major opposition rally the previous day.

Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets across Russia on Sunday in the biggest show of defiance since the 2011-2012 anti-government protests.

Almost all of Sunday's rallies were unsanctioned. A group that monitors political repression, OVD-Info, published a list early Monday of more than 1,000 people arrested at the Moscow rally. This number can't be immediately verified, and the Moscow police previously reported half as many arrests.

Sunday's protests were led by Navalny, a charismatic opposition leader who has recently announced his bid for presidency. Navalny was detained while walking to the rally from a nearby subway station.