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Russian Opposition Politician Yashin Jailed Again

Ilya Yashin appears in Moscow City Court on August 16.
Ilya Yashin appears in Moscow City Court on August 16.

Russian opposition politician Ilya Yashin, who has been struggling to get registered for the Moscow city-council elections next month, has been sentenced to 10 days in jail for the fourth time in recent weeks for organizing and attending unsanctioned rallies.

At the beginning of the hearing in Moscow's Troitsky district court on August 20, Yashin likened the judicial procedure to "a performance" straight out of Franz Kafka's novel, The Trial.

Yashin then started reading Kafka's novel in the courtroom, telling the audience that "the original is always better than cheap remakes."

Since completing his first 10-day jail term after his initial arrest on July 29, Yashin has been rearrested three more times and given another 10-day term each time.

Election officials have refused to register the candidacies of dozens of independent and opposition politicians, including Yashin, for the September 8 municipal elections on the grounds that they failed to obtain the required number of signatures.

In many cases, the authorities said that signatures presented were invalid or falsified, an allegation that many potential candidates say is not true.

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