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Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny Loses Appeal, Faces Additional 19-Year Sentence

Published September 27, 2023
9 months ago

Alexei Navalaly, the most notable figure in Russia's opposition, lost his appeal on Tuesday against a new 19-year prison term. This pronouncement was made by a Moscow court judge following Navalny's conviction on six alleged extremist activity charges which he firmly denied. The hearing took place via video link, with media access limited to the verdict's reading. Navalny, dressed in black prison attire, was seen listening intently to the judge's decision.

The added sentence compounds the 11-and-a-half years he is currently serving at IK-6 penal colony in Melekhovo, situated approximately 235km east of Moscow. Navalny insists the charges — which span fraud offences amongst others — are fabrication designed to suppress his critical stance on President Vladimir Putin.

Likewise, Daniel Kholodny, a former collaborator of Navalny, also saw his appeal rejected. Jailed for eight years in August as part of the same trial, Kholodny bid farewell to Navalny as the video feed concluded.

Navalny has emerged as a critical figure in Russia's divided opposition. His supporters liken his stature to Nelson Mandela, anticipating a future where he will return from jail to lead the nation. Despite the Kremlin's efforts to downplay Navalny politically— with Putin never mentioning his name — Navalny continues his fight for political justice.

Navalny returned voluntarily to Russia in 2021 from Germany where he had sought treatment following an alleged attempt on his life via poisoning. Russia denied the accusations, with Putin remarking tersely that had an attempt been made, the outcome would have been fatal.

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