The Latest: Moscow court jails opposition leader for 30 days
MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Russian opposition protest (all times local):
A Moscow court has ruled that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny should be jailed for 30 days for staging an unsanctioned rally in Moscow.
The anti-corruption rallies called for by Navalny were held in more than 100 Russian towns and cities on Monday. In Moscow, thousands of angry protesters held an unsanctioned rally on Tverskaya, the capital’s main street. More than 1,000 people have been arrested across Russia.
The judge at the Simonovsky district court ruled after midnight Monday that Navalny should be jailed for repeated violations of the law on public gatherings.
Navalny was detained outside his home an hour before the rally was to start.
The White House has condemned the arrests of protesters at anti-corruption rallies in Russia.
Tens of thousands rallied in more than 100 Russian towns and cities on Monday, and hundreds were arrested. In Moscow, thousands of angry protesters held an unsanctioned rally on the capital’s main street with riot police snatching hundreds of protesters from the crowd at random.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Monday that the United States “strongly condemns the detention of hundreds of peaceful protesters” which he described as an “affront to core democratic values.” Spicer called on the Russian government to immediately release all peaceful protesters.
A court in Moscow has yet to pass a ruling on opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who faces charges of disobeying police orders and calling for an unsanctioned protest.
Hundreds of people were arrested Monday in protests across Russia. The demonstrators are demanding an end to corruption they say is endemic among government officials.
While there are no official figures on how many people have been detained, an Associated Press reporter counted about 500 people forced into police buses In St. Petersburg.
The demonstrators appeared to skew predominantly younger — those who were born or grew up during Vladimir Putin’s 17 years of leading Russia. Similar crowds turned out in March, rattling officials who had perceived the younger generation as largely apolitical.
Putin is expected to seek another term as president in 2018, and opposition leader Alexei Navalny has already announced his intentions to run.
Navalny was among those arrested Monday.
Demonstrators in Monday’s opposition protests across Russia say they are fed up with endemic corruption among officials.
The protest gatherings in cities from Far East Pacific ports to St. Petersburg were spearheaded by Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who has become the Kremlin’s most visible opponent.
“We are against the corruption that is costing the future of our young people,” said 33-year-old Maria Badyrova, one of the demonstrators who gathered on a main Moscow thoroughfare for an unsanctioned protest.
In Vladivostok, where hundreds of people assembled for a protest, demonstrator Alexei Borenko said after eluding police attempts to detain him, that he was “here first of all because of the corruption in Russia which is becoming incredibly big in Russia.”
An Associated Press reporter has counted more than 200 people arrested by police at an unsanctioned opposition rally in St. Petersburg.
About 1,000 people had gathered Monday in the city’s Mars Field park for a protest that was part of a nationwide wave of demonstrations called for by Alexei Navalny, Russia’s most prominent opposition figure.
After the detentions, the protest appeared to be breaking up, but some demonstrators remained.
Riot police in Moscow have begun detaining demonstrators in an unsanctioned opposition rally in the center of the city.
An Associated Press reporter saw at least three demonstrators detained on Tverskaya Street, a main thoroughfare leading from the Red Square area.
The Moscow demonstration was one of a nationwide day of protests Monday spearheaded by Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who has become the Kremlin’s most prominent critic.
The demonstration had received official sanction to be held in another location, but Navalny called for a last minute change, citing interference in building a stage for speakers.
Navalny was arrested outside his home en route to the rally.
Russian police say opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been arrested on charges of that could bring him 15 days in jail.
Navalny was arrested Monday afternoon outside his home in Moscow as he headed for an unsanctioned protest rally. Authorities had given permission for the rally, but Navalny late Sunday called for the location to change to one of Moscow’s main avenues. He said interference had prevented contractors from building a stage at the agreed venue.
In a statement reported by state news agency Tass, police said Navalny would be charged with failure to follow police orders and violation of public order.
Police in Russia’s second-largest city have arrested scores of people who gathered in a park in St. Petersburg’s center for an unsanctioned opposition protest.
An Associated Press reporter saw about 50 protesters seized by police in the gathering at Mars Field.
The protest Monday was part of a day of demonstrations throughout Russia spearheaded by Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who has emerged as Russia’s most prominent opposition figure and who has announced he intends to run for president next year.
As police detained demonstrators, hundreds of others shouted slogans including “Putin is a thief” and “Shame!”
A spokeswoman for Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny says electricity has been cut at Navalny’s offices in Moscow.
Kira Yarmysh tweeted the information shortly after Navalny was reportedly arrested outside his Moscow home while on his way to an unsanctioned protest demonstration.
Navalny’s Fund for Fighting Corruption had been providing updates on protests throughout the country Monday.
Moscow authorities had agreed to a location for a protest rally in the capital, but Navalny at the last minute called changing it to one of Moscow’s main thoroughfares, citing interference in building a stage at the agreed-upon rally site.
There was no immediate comment from police on why Navalny had been arrested or where he was taken.
The wife of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny says that he has been arrested outside his Moscow home on his way to the main demonstration in the capital.
Although city authorities had agreed to a location for the Moscow protest, Navalny called for it to be moved to one of Moscow’s main thoroughfares.
Navalny said contractors hired to build a stage at the agreed-upon venue couldn’t do their work.
Navalny’s wife Yulia said on his Twitter feed that he was arrested outside his home about a half-hour before the demonstration was to begin.
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, aiming to repeat the nationwide protests that rattled the Kremlin three months ago, has called for a last-minute location change for a Moscow demonstration that could provoke confrontations with police.
Although city authorities had agreed to a location for the gathering that is to be the centerpiece of Monday’s protests, Navalny called for it to be moved to one of Moscow’s main thoroughfares. He said contractors hired to build a stage at the agreed-upon venue could not do their work after apparently coming under official pressure.
After the change, Moscow police warned that “any provocative actions from the protesters’ side will be considered a threat to public order and will be immediately suppressed.”
More than 1,000 protesters were arrested at a similar rally March 26.