New pro-Navalny protests in Russia: Police arrest close associates

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Once again the situation in RussiaOr smells of gunpowder because of it Alexei Navalny, with several supporters taking to the streets to protest. Earlier this morning (April 21), police arrested the associates of the Kremlin critic in Moscow.

Among those arrested are Navani Anti-Corruption Fund lawyer Lyubov Sombol, his spokeswoman Kira Yarmis, a professor and former deputy speaker of the State Duma (lower house), Vladimirko Rozika and Rizka Riz. Academy of Sciences, Efim Khazanov, who was subsequently released with the obligation to appear in court.

Sombol was arrested, according to a police report, because she appeared on the show “Breakfast: Sasha and Tanya”, which took place on April 19 and was broadcast via YouTube. During the program she talked about Navalny’s state of health.

Rizkov was arrested on charges of violating bans on participating in actions in support of Navalny. He, who is being held at a police station, told the Kommersant newspaper that the reason for his arrest was a retweet of news from the Echo Moskvi radio station about the actions of Navalny’s supporters on April 21.

“I did not post any appeal, I did not address any appeal to take to the streets, I have nothing to do with the organization of the action. At the moment they are taking me to the pre-booking room and I will spend the night. “Tomorrow my case will be heard in the Hamovniceksi court,” said the Russian politician.

Khazanov was arrested in the city of Nizhny Novgorod for reposting – writes the TASS agency – on social media that had the subject of rallies in support of Navalny, which were not approved by the authorities. He was later released.

“I was released with the obligation to appear in court,” wrote the physicist involved in laser physics and nonlinear optics research on his Facebook page, while thanking his lawyer.

Thousands demonstrated in Moscow and St. Petersburg

The previous day caused thousands of people to demonstrate tonight in Moscow and St. Petersburg, expressing their support for the imprisoned Alexei Navalny, who has been on a hunger strike for three weeks.

Police spoke to 6,000 protesters in the capital and 4,500 in the second largest city of Russia. The organizers have not announced their estimates for participation in the mobilizations.

Agence France-Presse reporters said they saw large crowds, but did not reach the volume of demonstrations which took place in January, following Navalny’s arrest.

According to the APE-MPE, some of the participants who spoke to the French Agency expressed their determination to continue, however others appeared disappointed because the mobilization was not greater. “I do not think that this action will be able to save Navalny, at least 200-300,000 people were needed on the street. This is not the case here, “said Alexander Butuzov, 51.

“It’s a battle for the future,” said Andrei Zamyatin, a 51-year-old businessman. “Navalny wants to change the system and is being punished for it,” he added.

There were more arrests in St. Petersburg than in Moscow. An AFP reporter said he saw a police officer using a teaser against a protester.

UN: Navalny’s life is in serious danger

At the same time, experts in the field of human rights UN called on Russia to allow the jailed opposition leader to leave and be hospitalized abroad, as they believe his life is in danger.

Navalny is being held in harsh conditions in a high-security prison and “denied access to adequate medical care”, conditions that resemble torture, the statement said.

“We urge the Russian authorities to give Mr Navalny access to his own doctors and to allow him to go abroad for emergency medical treatment, as they did in August 2020,” UN experts said in a statement.

Navalny returned to Russia in January after being treated in Germany after being poisoned with a banned neurotoxic agent, according to German authorities. The Kremlin denies the allegations.

UN experts have expressed concern about his deteriorating health, saying: “We believe Mr Navalny’s life is in grave danger.”

“We are deeply concerned that Mr Navalny is being held in conditions that could amount to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in a facility that reportedly does not meet international standards,” they said in a statement.

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