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Russian Police Disperse Rally In Support Of Navalny In Siberia

Aleksei Navalny

KEMEROVO, Russia -- Police in the Siberian city of Kemerovo have dispersed a rally being held in support of opposition politician Aleksei Navalny, who is bidding to run in next year’s presidential election.

Police briefly detained several activists and dismantled a campaign stand giving out posters and Russian national flags on July 25.

The activists say they had requested permission to hold the rally, but with no answer from the local authorities they assumed permission had been granted.

On July 12, police in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk confiscated the computers in Navalny's local election headquarters, saying his national campaign chief, Leonid Volkov, was suspected of copyright infringement and creating a computer virus.

The search came a day after police detained and questioned Navalny's Krasnoyarsk coordinator, Ruslan Rudenko, and confiscated printed campaign materials.

Dozens of Navalny’s campaign workers have been detained in Moscow and other cities over recent weeks.

An annticorruption blogger, Navalny is actively campaigning for the March 2018 presidential election, in which President Vladimir Putin is widely expected to seek and win a fourth term.