Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has lost his appeal against his conviction for what Russian authorities describe as extremism. He was sentenced to nineteen years in prison at the beginning of August.
Journalists were not welcome during most of the appeal, despite protests from Navalny and his lawyers. They were not allowed to attend the sentencing until Tuesday.
Navalny (47 years old) has been detained since 2021. He ended up in prison when he returned from Germany. There he underwent medical treatment after being poisoned in his country. He is being held in a high-security penal colony about 250 kilometers east of Moscow.
Navalny attended the appeal hearing in the capital via video link.
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Navalny describes the cases against him as politically motivated
The well-known Kremlin critic has been repeatedly convicted in cases he described as politically motivated. The sentence was imprisonment for nineteen years, in addition to a previous prison sentence of more than eleven years. Since there was no fair trial, the prison sentence was predetermined.
The Russian authorities have now banned his political movement. Known Navalny supporters have been arrested or have fled abroad.
Navalny has been waging a political battle against Russian rulers for years. He organized the opposition to break the Kremlin’s power. He also established an anti-corruption foundation. He investigated alleged self-enrichment within the political elite.
Navalny’s health is said to have continued to deteriorate during his captivity.
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