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Jailed Chief Of Navalny's Anticorruption Foundation Begins Hunger Strike

Ivan Zhdanov heads Russian activist Aleksei Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation. (file photo)

Ivan Zhdanov, the jailed chief of Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation, has gone on a hunger strike.

Zhdanov, one of the opposition candidates to Moscow city council whose registration was denied by election officials, said on August 2 that he had stopped eating as a last resort in his protest against being jailed.

"I do not have any other ways and possibilities to express my position. As of today, I am starting a hunger strike and refusing food. I refuse to answer questions, I refuse to take part in this court hearing," Zhdanov said during the hearing into his appeal, on August 2.

Zhdanov's election campaign chief Boris Zolotarevsky posted on social media Zhdanov's statement in court, where he also decried the "lawlessness" of the decision by Russian authorities to refuse to register him and other opposition and independent candidates for September 8 municipal elections, He also denounced a police crackdown on protests over the move.

A court in the town of Zelenograd near Moscow sentenced Zhdanov on July 29 to 15 days in jail after finding him guilty of taking part in an unsanctioned rally that was violently dispersed by police two days earlier.

The July 27 police crackdown was one of the biggest in recent years against an opposition that has grown more defiant while denouncing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hold on power.