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Navalny's Brother Gets Suspended Sentence In Latest 'Sanitary' Case


Oleg Navalny (file photo)
Oleg Navalny (file photo)

The brother of imprisoned Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny was given a one-year suspended prison sentence after a court in Moscow found him guilty on August 6 of publicly calling for the violation of anti-pandemic restrictions.

Oleg Navalny's lawyer, Nikos Paraskevov, said on Twitter that the Preobrazhensky district court also ruled to impose a one-year probation period on his client.

He is the fourth person convicted in a case that was launched after a group of Navalny's associates was held for calling on people to take part in unsanctioned protests to support the opposition activist in January. They were detained on the eve of the planned rallies.

Hours earlier, the same court ordered Nikolai Lyaskin to serve one year of "freedom limitation," also a parole-like sentence, on the same charges.

The two men were charged along with several other Navalny allies with breaking epidemiological guidelines by urging people to take part in the pro-Navalny rallies.

Lyaskin tweeted on August 6 that the court barred him from leaving home between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. or participating in public events. He was also ordered not to leave Moscow for a period of one year.

One of Navalny's closest associates, Lyubov Sobol, was found guilty and given an 18-month parole-like sentence on August 3.

One day earlier, January protest participant Dani Akel was fined 100,000 rubles (almost $1,400) on similar charges.

Other individuals charged in the case include Navalny's brother, Oleg; municipal lawyers Dmitry Baranovsky and Lyusya Shtein; the chief of the Physicians' Alliance NGO, Anastasia Vasilyeva; a leading member of the Pussy Riot protest group, Maria Alyokhina; a coordinator of Navalny's team in Moscow, Oleg Stepanov; and Navalny spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh.

Most of them are under house arrest or curfew.

Aleksei Navalny was arrested on January 17 after returning to Russia from Germany, where he was treated for poisoning with a Novichok nerve agent that he says was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Kremlin has denied any role in the incident, which was the latest of numerous attacks on Navalny.

More than 10,000 people were rounded up during nationwide rallies protesting Navalny's arrest organized in more than 100 Russian towns and cities on January 23 and January 31.

On February 2, Navalny was found guilty of violating the terms of his suspended sentence relating to an embezzlement case that he has called politically motivated.

That ruling sparked new protests that were also forcibly dispersed by police.

More than 1,400 people were detained by police in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other Russian cities during those demonstrations.

With reporting by RFE/RL's Russian Service and Mediazona