Russia: New protests called to demand opposition leader Navalny’s release from jail

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Allies of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who faces years in prison, called for new protests to demand his release, following a wave of demonstrations that turned out tens of thousands across the country in a defiant challenge to President Vladimir Putin. Mass rallies took place Jan. 23 in over 100 cities in what observers said was the largest outpouring of anger in years. Over 3,700 people were detained, according to a human rights group that monitors political arrests. More than 1,400 detentions occurred in Moscow alone, according to Russian media. Navalny strategist Leonid Volkov called for more protests in “all Russian cities” for Jan. 31. “For Navalny’s freedom. For our freedom. For justice,” he said in a Jan. 25 tweet. Navalny, an anti-corruption campaigner and Putin’s fiercest critic, was arrested Jan. 17 as he returned to Russia from Germany, where he had spent nearly five months recovering from nerve-agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin. Russian authorities deny the accusations. (AP) This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

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