Alexey Navalny, an outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin is behind bars in Russia for at least 30 days. CNN said the order came “during a surprise hearing in Russia on Monday, less than 24 hours after he returned to the country and five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok.”
In his first appearance since he was detained by border inspectors at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport last night, Navalny slammed the proceedings as “lawlessness at its highest point” and a “mockery of justice.”His spokesperson Kira Yarmysh noted that the only people who appeared to have known in advance about the hearing were a state TV crew and reporters from a pro-Kremlin tabloid, leading Navalny to request that “real journalists” are allowed inside.
Deeply troubled by Russia’s decision to arrest Aleksey Navalny. Confident political leaders do not fear competing voices, nor see the need to commit violence against or wrongfully detain, political opponents.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) January 18, 2021
The opposition politician believes Putin ordered the poisoning to go ahead, reportedly saying in October last year that he does not see any other explanation.
Putin’s government denies poisoning Navalny, though investigative reporters have since published evidence to support Navalny’s claims.