March 27, 2017 / 12:39 PM / 6 months ago

Russian opposition leader Navalny jailed for 15 days over protest

MOSCOW, March 27 (Reuters) - A court on Monday sentenced Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny to 15 days in prison, saying he had disobeyed a police officer during an anti-government protest in Moscow the previous day.

The same court fined Navalny 20,000 roubles ($352.20) earlier on Monday for his role in organising the protest, which the authorities said was illegal.

Police detained hundreds of protesters across Russia on Sunday, including Navalny, after thousands took to the streets to demonstrate against corruption and demand the resignation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Olga Mikhailova, Navalny’s lawyer, told Reuters she had expected such a verdict and would appeal it.

A Reuters reporter saw Navalny being loaded into a van, which was quickly surrounded by supporters holding placards reading” “We believe” and “Alexei, we are with you.”

The Kremlin on Monday rejected calls by the United States and the European Union to release detained opposition protesters, accusing organisers of paying teenagers to attend. (Reporting by Svetlana Reiter; Writing by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Polina Devitt)

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