June 14, 2017
Alexei Navalny, a Russian lawyer and activist known for establishing the Anti-Corruption Foundation [advocacy wevite], was arrested outside his home in Moscow on Monday, according [TASS report, in Russian] to a state-media new report. His arrest, and almost immediate conviction for “organizing an unauthorized rally,” occurred shortly before an anti-corruption protest targeting President Valdimir Putin and the Kremlin [TASS report, in Russian] was scheduled to take place on Tverskaya, a four-lane avenue and main thoroughfare in Moscow. Navalny was sentenced to a 30-day prison term. According to state-run media [TASS report, in Russian], Moscow officials had approved a protest in a public square just outside the city’s center district, and Navalny’s arrest was the result of a post he had made the night before [YouTube video, in Russian] the protest redirecting protesters. Tweeting from his verified Twitter account shortly after his arrest on Monday, Navalny’s wife Yulia said [Tweet, in Russian] the protest in the Tverskaya area would proceed as planned. The protest in Moscow and similar ones throughout Russia resulted in more than 1,000 arrests.
This is not the first time Navalny has trouble with the Russian legal system. Navalny was arrested [JURIST report] in March at a demonstration protesting the alleged corruption of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev [official website]. In February he was convicted and sentenced [JURIST report] for embezzlement. That same month, the European Court of Human Rights ordered [JURIST report] Russia to pay more than €63,000 for arresting Navalny multiple times between March 2012 and February 2014. In May a Moscow court declined [JURIST report] authorities’ request to convert Navalny’s suspended sentence into a prison term. He had been convicted of fraud and sentenced to three-and-a-half-years suspended sentence. In 2015 Navalny was handed [JURIST report] a 15-day prison sentence for distributing leaflets attempting to publicize an “anti-crisis” demonstration. In 2014 Navalny and his brother, Oleg Navalny, were charged [JURIST report] with embezzling approximately 30 million rubles (USD $518,000) from French cosmetics company, Yves Rocher Vostok, and the Multidisciplinary Processing Company by a fraud scheme between 2008 and 2012.