House arrest is 'illegal,' says popular Russian dissident

In an interview, the Russian opposition activist said he will hold rallies in capital and other cities of the country.

House arrest is 'illegal,' says popular Russian dissident
World Bulletin / News Desk
 
 Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny revealed the reasons for breaching his house arrest and his future plans in an interview with The Anadolu Agency.

Navalny, a blogger, lawyer and prominent opposition activist in demonstrations held against President Vladimir Putin said he took off his electronic handcuffs as he thought his house arrest was illegal.

"People who are not issued prison sentences, or whose sentences are delayed, are immediately released," Navalny said, referring to articles 311 and 107 of the country’s penal code.

The house arrest, he said, is only applied to suspects and those charged with crimes, which led him to believe that his house arrest was "illegal."

He was among the demonstrators who marched to Moscow's Manezh Square outside the Kremlin on Dec. 30, 2014, and protested a legal verdict passed on his brother, Oleg, and himself.

Navalny attended the demonstration despite the fact that he had been under house arrest since February. Dozens of supporters of the opposition figure were detained, including Navalny himself.

When asked about his future plans, he said he would not travel anywhere and planned to hold more rallies in the capital and other big cities around the country.

"The protests will focus on fighting corruption, participating in elections, the legal system of the country and the release of politically-detained people," he said.

In 2013, a court convicted Navalny of embezzlement in connection with a state-owned timber company. The case was widely seen as being politically-motivated.

The court ordered Navalny to serve a three-and-a-half year probation period and pay $8,972 (500,000 rubles) in fines following his conviction on fraud charges.

The charges, against Navalny and his brother Oleg, are largely seen as politically motivated. The Moscow government, however, said they had no influence on judicial decisions.

Despite his conviction, Navalny ran for mayor of Moscow in 2013, winning an unexpected 27 percent of the vote.

Background

A Moscow-born lawyer, Navalny is an activist who concentrates his efforts on anti-corruption activities. He drew widespread attraction among Russian youngsters with his anti-government blog and political opinions.

During the anti-government protests of 2011-2012 in Moscow, Navalny was seen as an unofficial leader of the opposition movement.

 

Last Mod: 08 Ocak 2015, 15:13
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