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Russian Opposition Figures Jailed


Russian police detain opposition leader Aleksei Navalny outside a courthouse in Moscow on February 24.
MOSCOW -- Two of Russia's leading opposition figures, Boris Nemtsov and Aleksei Navalny, have been sent to jail on charges of disobeying police during an unsanctioned public gathering.

Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister who is currently a lawmaker in Yaroslavl Oblast, was sentenced to 10 days in jail, while Navalny, an outspoken Kremlin critic and blogger, received seven days in jail on February 25.

The two were detained along with more than 400 others on February 24 for participating in a protest near a court in Moscow, where seven participants in a 2012 anti-Putin protest on Moscow's Bolotnaya Square received jail terms of between 2 1/2 to four years on charges of rioting and assaulting police.

Sentences for the other protesters are pending.

Amnesty International condemned the activists' arrests, saying their detention indicated that "the Russian authorities' rampant violation of freedom of expression and assembly shows no sign of letting up."

With reporting by Interfax and RIA Novosti