Moscow (Russia): Russia’s leading opposition figure and chief Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny has called on his supporters to ‘take to the streets’ to protest against the authorities following a court ordering him to be remanded in pre-trial detention for 30 days.
Citing a video clip posted on YouTube, Al Jazeera quoted Navalny as saying, “Do not be afraid, take to the streets. Do not go out for me, go out for yourself and your future.”
Navalny was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on Sunday following his return to Russia from Germany after five years.
With the court’s order on Monday, Navalny will have to remain in prison till February 15 and a different court has been set to decide whether to convert his suspended three and a half year sentence into real jail time, AL Jazeera reported.
He had arrived in Germany five months ago in a coma after being poisoned by Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent developed by Russia during the Soviet years. Several Western officials along with Navalny himself have openly blamed Russia for the poisoning, while the Kremlin has denied the allegations.
Navalny was placed on the country’s federal wanted list during his time in Germany at the request of the Federal Penitentiary Service FSIN’s, which had accused him in December 2020 of violating probation terms in a fraud case that was dismissed by Navalny as “politically motivated”.
Now the FSIN alleges that Navalny has been in violation of the terms of his suspended sentence by failing to show up for scheduled inspections.
Meanwhile, Germany, the UK, France, Italy, and the European Union have called for Navalny’s release.