Putin rival jailed for Russian anti-graft demos

Moscow, Tuesday

Russian opposition demonstrators faced court today after nationwide anti-corruption protests called by leading Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, who was slapped with a 30-day jail sentence.

More than 1,500 people were detained at yesterday’s demonstrations, mainly in the capital Moscow and Russia’s second city of Saint Petersburg, and several criminal probes into police violence were launched.

Police stations overflowed with detainees and many people still awaited processing while others were shuttled to court for hearings over violating demonstration regulations that could lead to 15 days of jail time.

“We’ve left the station. They are taking us to Tverskoy district court,” opposition activist Ilya Yashin tweeted . He was one of the more than 800 people detained in Moscow after the protest on Tverskaya Street, the main thoroughfare to the Kremlin.

The protest in the capital was originally authorised in a different location but Navalny unexpectedly cancelled it on Sunday, saying that the authorities were blocking efforts to hire a stage and sound equipment, calling on supporters to go to Tverskaya Street instead. -AFP

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