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Russian Officials Unblock Website Of Opposition Figure Navalny

The Russian state agency Roskomnadzor says it has unblocked the website of opposition figure and anticorruption blogger Aleksei Navalny.

Roskomnadzor, short for the Federal Service for Communications, Information Technologies, and Mass Media, said on February 28 that the decision to unblock Navalny's site was made after texts calling for people to participate in unsanctioned mass rallies were removed.

Roskomnadzor blocked the site in early January after Navalny posted a call for people to attend an unsanctioned rally later that month.

Another opposition rally had been planned for March 1 but was called off after former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov, a longtime opposition leader who was among its organizers, was slain late on February 27.

Instead, the late Nemtsov's fellow oppositionists and supporters have planned a memorial march for March 1 to honor him.

Meanwhile, Navalny's lawyer said on February 28 that his client would appeal to Moscow's Presnensky Court to be freed from house arrest for one day to attend Nemtsov's funeral on March 3.

Vadim Kobzev said the request would be formally made to the court on March 2.

Kobzev said the judge could make such a decision without the need to convene a hearing.

Navalny expressed grief over the killing of Nemtsov, a "very good, decent man" who he said had visited him "a couple of days ago." Navalny called the killing "a terrible tragedy and a loss for us all."

He later noted on his blog that he believed that opposition leader Nemtsov, particularly ahead of the planned antigovernment rally, would have been under the surveillance of Russian security services when he was killed.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax