Campaign diary

Navalny’s Irkutsk coordinator jailed for seven days

Navalny Irkutsk4

Alexei Navalny at his rally in Irkutsk. Photo by Evgeny Feldman from

by Sarah Hurst

The coordinator of Alexei Navalny’s campaign headquarters in Irkutsk, Sergei Bespalov, has been jailed for seven days in a closed court session. Bespalov was convicted of organising a public event without requesting permission, despite the fact that Navalny’s rally in the city on Nov. 4 was held on private property and was ticket-only.

This follows the handing out of prison sentences of varying lengths to campaign coordinators in other cities where Navalny has held rallies. It seems this will be the norm from now on, no matter what Navalny and his team do to ensure they follow the law. But it is more likely to motivate campaigners than to deter them.

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