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Navalny Lawyer Sobol Detained By Russian Police, Charged With Calling Unsanctioned Rally

Russian opposition activist and lawyer Lyubov Sobol (file photo)
Russian opposition activist and lawyer Lyubov Sobol (file photo)

Lyubov Sobol, a lawyer for Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny, has been detained by police on a charge of calling for an unsanctioned rally in relation to a planned nationwide protest on January 23 in support of the jailed Kremlin critic.

Sobol's lawyer, Vladimir Voronin, tweeted on January 21 that police stopped his car and took his client to a police station to charge her there. Before that, three men had been at Sobol's apartment and tried to hand her a written warning from the Moscow Prosecutor's Office about the planned protest.

Earlier in the day, a lawyer with Navalny's Anti-Corruption Fund, Vladlen Los, who is Belarusian citizen, was briefly detained and informed that he must leave Russia before January 25.

At a January 18 hearing that Navalny called a "mockery of justice," a judge ruled to keep him incarcerated until February 15, by which time a different court is expected to decide whether to convert a suspended 3 1/2 year sentence he served in an embezzlement case, which he says is being trumped up into real jail time.

His team subsequently called for nationwide protests on January 23.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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