World news – The Russian court rejects Alexei Navalny’s appeal against the arrest

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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny appears on a television screen during a live session with the court during a hearing of his appeal in Moscow (Pavel Golovkin / AP).

By associated press reporters

A Russian court has opposition leader Alexei Navalny appealed against his arrest while authorities arrested several of his allies after tens of thousands swarmed the streets in more than 100 Russian cities last weekend demanding his release.

Mr Navalny spoke via video link from the Jailed in court and sentenced the criminal case against him as part of the government’s efforts to intimidate the opposition.

« You will fail to scare tens of millions of people robbed by this government, » he said. </ The 44-year-old who became the best-known critic of the government of President Vladimir Putin arrested on January 17th after returning from Germany. There he recovered for five months from nerve agent poisoning, which he accuses the Kremlin.

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A Russian police car is parked in Alexei Navalny’s home in Moscow (Pavel Golovkin / AP)

Mr. Navalny was arrested for 30 days at the request of the Russian Correctional Service. He accused him of breaking probation for a money laundering conviction from 2014, which he dismissed as politically motivated.

During the trial, Mr Navalny’s defense argued that he was in rehabilitation in Germany and therefore could not register with the authorities during the period in accordance with the probation requirements.

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The imprisonment of Navalny’s brother Oleg, his ally Lyubov Sobol, Dr. Anastasia Vasilyeva of the Alliance of Doctors and Maria Alyokhina of the punk collective Pussy Riot comes as authorities try to contain another wave of protests for Sunday.

All four were under a criminal investigation into alleged coronavirus violations Detained for 48 hours during the weekend protests.

The nightly arrests of Mr Navalny’s allies came after more than a dozen searches of the homes and offices of his family, employees and supporters in connection with the ongoing investigation into coronavirus violations Restrictions during the weekend protests.

These locations included Mr Navalny’s apartment where police arrested his brother and a rented apartment where Mr Navalny’s wife, Yulia, lived.

Putins Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the searches and detentions were a legitimate part of it r police efforts to investigate alleged violations during Saturday’s rallies.

« Law enforcement agencies are doing their job, » Peskov said on a conference call with reporters. « There have been numerous violations of Russian law and law enforcement agencies are at work. »

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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny appears on a TV screen during a live session with the court during an appeal hearing in Moscow (Pavel Golovkin / AP).

Russian prosecutors on Thursday also warned Facebook, Google, Twitter, TikTok and Russian social networks, demanding that they block calls for further protests.

« The state does not want social networks to become one platform for promoting such illegal actions, « said Peskov. When asked if their refusal to remove such content could lead the Russian authorities to block them, Mr. Peskov replied that it was a matter for the relevant government agencies to consider an answer.

« All pros and cons are weighed and, if necessary, the measures provided for by law are taken, » he said.

Earlier this week, Russia’s state communications watchdog Roskomnadzor said that Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube and two Russian social networks would be punished for not preventing minors from joining the protests on Saturday.

E. Also on Thursday, the Russian investigative committee said it had launched a criminal investigation into Navalny’s top strategist Leonid Volkov and accused him of encouraging minors to participate in unauthorized rallies.

In a challenge to Mr Putin two days after Mr Navalny was arrested, his organization published a detailed video report on a palatial coastal area allegedly built for the president. It has been viewed more than 98 million times, fueling discontent.

Last Saturday, demonstrations took place in more than 100 cities across the country calling for the release of Mr Navalny. This was a strong sign of growing anger towards the Kremlin.

Almost 4,000 people were arrested during these protests, and some were fined and jailed.

Mr Navalny was killed on a domestic flight from Siberia to Moscow on August 20 into a coma.

Laboratories in Germany, France and Sweden, as well as tests by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, revealed that he was exposed to the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok.

The Russian authorities have refused to conduct a full criminal investigation To initiate investigation as there is no evidence that Mr Navalny was poisoned.

The arrest of Mr Navalny and the harsh police actions during the protests have sparked widespread criticism from the West and are demanding his release.

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