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Russian Courts Hand Jail Terms To Dozens Of Putin Critic Alexei Navalny’s Mourners

A 47-year-old Kremlin critic died on Friday in an Arctic prison colony.

Moscow:

Russian courts have handed down short sentences to dozens of people detained at an event commemorating Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, with 154 people sentenced in St. Petersburg alone, according to an official court statement.

154 people were sentenced to up to 14 days in prison for violating Russia’s strict anti-protest laws, according to details of the ruling released by a city court on Saturday and Sunday.

Rights groups and independent media reported several similar rulings in other cities across the country.

The 47-year-old Kremlin critic died on Friday in an Arctic prison where he was being held on charges widely seen as revenge for his campaign against President Vladimir Putin.

Over the weekend, police arrested dozens of Russians in dozens of cities who came to lay flowers at monuments to victims of Stalin-era repression and light candles in his honor.

Anti-Kremlin demonstrations and public shows against the regime are effectively illegal in Russia under strict military censorship rules and laws banning unauthorized gatherings.

Police and plainclothes men patrolled sites in dozens of Russian cities over the weekend where people had gathered to mourn Navalny.

There were reports that they removed the pop-up monument overnight, and footage showed it on a bridge next to the Kremlin where Boris Nemtsov, another prominent Putin critic, was killed in 2015. , footage showed hooded men scooping up flowers and placing them in garbage bags.

President Putin remains silent

News of Navalny’s death came just a month before Putin was due to secure another six-year term in the Kremlin, sparking an outpouring of grief and anger among his supporters at home and abroad. .

Russian authorities still refused to allow Navalny’s mother or lawyer access to his body on Sunday, infuriating supporters who had previously called the Russian state a “murderer” and sought to “cover its tracks.” I let it happen.

Putin has not commented on the death of his most vocal critic, and the Kremlin has made no comment since Friday evening when Western leaders criticized him for saying he was responsible. It is not mentioned either.

Tributes continued to pour in on Sunday for Navalny, who narrowly escaped death in a 2020 poisoning attack but returned to Russia several months later knowing he would be imprisoned.

“Alexei Navalny wanted one very simple thing: for his beloved Russia to be a normal country,” Leonid Volkov, his chief of staff and one of his closest aides, said on social media. I wrote it on site X.

“And for this Vladimir Putin killed him. Poisoned, imprisoned, tortured and killed.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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