Russia Jails Alexei Navalny For 30 Days After Telling West To “Butt Out”
Moscow is telling the West to “butt out” of the Alexei Navalny case after the anti-Putin activist was detained immediately upon his arrival in Moscow Sunday night after coming from Berlin on a Russian airline Pobeda flight.
He’s now been sentenced to 30-days in jail after a hasty court hearing, also as Europe ramps up pressure, threatening new sanctions on Russia if he’s not immediately released.
The 44-year-old Kremlin critic and political figure returned to Russia knowing he’d be arrested while also asking his supporters to come out en masse to cheer his arrival at the airport. Over the past months he’s given media interviews from Germany where’s he’s directly accused Vladimir Putin for ordering his alleged poisoning by a nerve agent last August – something which the Kremlin has vehemently denied.
Multiple reports said about 200 supporters were at the airport Sunday night to greet him, some of which were led away by police. Navalny’s surprise return to Russia – where authorities have long sought to interview and investigate him over the claimed poisoning incident which saw him collapse on an Aug.20 flight over Siberia – appears to be toward garnering more popular support within the country as an ‘opposition martyr’ of sorts.
According to Reuters, he’s facing prison time for leaving Russian soil unauthorized while serving probation for a 2014 embezzlement case.
“State prosecutors in Russia asked a judge on Monday to jail Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny for 30 days, after he was detained the previous evening at a Moscow airport when flying home for the first time since he was poisoned last summer,” Reuters reports.
Алексея из зала «суда» pic.twitter.com/Dqsa4x0qrz
— Кира Ярмыш (@Kira_Yarmysh) January 18, 2021
Soon after his Sunday evening detention Navalny recorded a video from inside a police station saying his hasty court hearing was “the highest degree of lawlessness”.
He again attacked President Putin in the video, saying the Russian leader is making a “mockery” of justice by “throwing it in the trash” according to a translation.
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) January 18, 2021
“The United Nations and Western nations told Russia to immediately free the opposition politician and some countries called for new sanctions,” Reuters noted. “Moscow told them to mind their own business.”
Mon, 01/18/2021 – 09:45