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Russian Orthodox Priest Sentenced To Jail For Taking Part In Pro-Navalny Rally

Andrei Vinarsky in the defendants cage in a court in Khabarovsk on May 13.

KHABAROVSK, Russia -- A court in Siberia has sentenced an Orthodox priest to 25 days in jail for taking part in an unsanctioned rally to support jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny in April.

Journalist Tatyana Khlestunova told RFE/RL that a court in the Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk sentenced Andrei Vinarsky on May 13.

Vinarsky has already been sentenced twice in recent months for taking part in protests.

He was given three days and then 20 days in jail, and fined for taking part in unsanctioned rallies to support the former governor of the Khabarovsk region, Sergei Furgal, who was arrested and taken to Moscow last summer for alleged involvement in murders more than a decade ago, which he and his supporters have rejected as politically motivated.

In March, the Birobidzhan eparchy ruled to dismiss Vinarsky from the post of archpriest of the St. Nicholas church over his participation in the rallies.

Vinarsky's daughter, Tatyana Tikhonova, said on May 13 that the eparchy also ruled that her father cannot run services and preach at churches until he repents and stops taking part in unsanctioned rallies.

Furgal's arrest in July sparked months-long large-scale protests in Khabarovsk