Court places Navalny brother under house arrest | Free press

No aisles in front of the door, no telephone, no internet: a court in Moscow limits the freedom of Oleg Navalny and supporters of the Kremlin critic. New protests are still planned.

Moscow (dpa) – Shortly before the planned new protests in Russia, the brother and several supporters of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny were sentenced to two months house arrest.

A court in Moscow ruled that Oleg Navalny and the others are no longer allowed to move freely, use the telephone or the Internet until March 23.

The sentences have been imposed in connection with violations of corona hygiene requirements in last weekend’s mass protests, which the suspects have called for. In addition to Oleg Navalny, collaborator Lyubow Sobol, doctor Anastassija Wassiljewa and a member of the punk band Pussy Riot, Maria Aljochina, have also been affected.

The day before, another court upheld Alexei Navalny’s 30-day jail sentence. The opposition was arrested at the airport almost two weeks ago, right after his return to Russia. He is alleged to have violated reporting requirements in a previous criminal case while recovering from a poison attack in Germany.

Next Tuesday, a court will decide whether an old suspended sentence will be converted into real detention. He has been in prison for many years.

Since last weekend’s massive protests, authorities have greatly increased the pressure on Nawalny’s team. Security forces searched countless offices and private homes on Wednesday.

Protests are scheduled for this Sunday in some 80 Russian cities. The authorities warned against participating in the unauthorized actions. According to the authorities, the public prosecutor demanded the blocking of internet sites calling for the unauthorized meetings. In connection with the earlier protests, fines have been imposed on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

According to organizers, up to 300,000 people demonstrated for the release of Nawalny last Saturday. About 4,000 people had been arrested, according to civil rights activists. In the capital Moscow alone, authorities subsequently initiated more than 1,600 criminal proceedings against participants.

The protests were sparked by a recent disclosure video from Nawalny’s team. The movie “A Palace for Putin”, which has been viewed over 100 million times on YouTube, gives Russian President Vladimir Putin a “tsarist empire” on the Black Sea, funded by bribes. The Kremlin rejected that. On Friday, state television showed a report that in a few years a hotel will be housed in the huge building that is currently under construction.

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