by Sarah Hurst
Alexei Navalny was detained today on his way out of a dentist’s surgery. “My tooth hurt, I went to the dentist’s. I came out of the dentist’s – hello, second operative division, you’re detained. They’re taking me somewhere,” he tweeted. Earlier in the day the head of his campaign, Leonid Volkov, was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, from where he was due to fly to Ufa to talk to supporters campaigning for a boycott of the March 18 presidential election.
The police drove Navalny to Moscow’s Yakimanka police station, but released him shortly afterwards. “They gave me a form saying there was a case against me for 20.2.8 (up to 30 days of arrest) and that was it,” he tweeted. “They offered to take me wherever I wanted to go. I refused and went to work. I don’t know what that was and why seven people detained me.”
30 days for a retweet
Volkov was immediately put on trial at Moscow’s Simonovsky court and after making him wait for over three hours the judge sentenced him to 30 days in prison at about 11 pm. The reason was ostensibly that he had somehow organised the January 28 protests by retweeting a video of Navalny’s arrest in Moscow that day. Volkov was in Yekaterinburg at the time, taking part in the protest there.
“Sign up to be observers,” Volkov tweeted after his sentencing. “We need 100,000 observers. Support the campaign, we need funds. Distribute leaflets. The strike mustn’t stop. And don’t follow the advice of the dishonest. And don’t get used to this. You can’t put people in prison for retweets, people have the right to protest… Truth and sincerity will win.”
Categories: Campaign diary