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Moscow Court Upholds Navalny's 30-Day Jail Sentence


Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny leaves a Moscow court after a hearing on August 27.

An appeals court has upheld the 30-day jail sentence handed down to opposition activist Aleksei Navalny for what Russian authorities say were violations of the law on public gatherings and protests.

Navalny's spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, wrote on Twitter on September 5 that the Moscow City Court rejected Navalny's appeal.

Navalny was sentenced on August 27, effectively barring him from participating in a September 9 protest targeting a controversial government proposal to raise the country's pension age.

The court found Navalny guilty of breaking protest laws by helping to organize a street rally in Moscow in January despite authorities' refusal to grant permission for the demonstration.

That demonstration in Moscow, along with similar protests in other Russian cities, drew thousands of people opposed to the reelection of President Vladimir Putin, who was campaigning ahead of a March vote that handed him a fourth Kremlin term.

Navalny, who was arrested outside his home on August 25, has said that the latest case against him was an attempt by the authorities to undermine efforts to rally on September 9, when local elections will be held across the country.

A vocal foe of Putin, Navalny has organized large street protests on several occasions and published a series of reports alleging corruption in Russia's ruling elite.

The government's proposal to raise the retirement age has stoked widespread anger across the country, and has undermined Putin’s popularity.

The Russian parliament has given preliminary backing to the proposal that would raise the retirement age to 63 for women by 2034 and to 65 for men by 2028.

Currently, the retirement age is 55 for women and 60 for men.

In an apparent attempt to lessen protest sentiments among Russians, Putin on August 29 suggested raising the state pension age by five years to 60 years for women, instead of the earlier proposed eight-year hike.

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