Russian court sentences Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny to three and half years in jail

A Russian court sentenced Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny to three and a half years in jail on Tuesday after ruling he had violated the terms of his parole, but said that his prison term would be shortened for time he had served earlier under house arrest.

“ Navalny is awaiting a ruling on whether he should serve his sentence in jail — AP/Moscow City Court “

Navalny, one of President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent critics, was arrested at the Russian border on Jan. 17 after returning from Germany where he had been recovering from being poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent.

Navalny’s allies called on their supporters to immediately protest against the ruling in central Moscow.

Navalny’s lawyer said the opposition politician would appeal against the ruling.

U.S. ‘deeply concerned’ by Navalny sentence — Blinken

The United States is deeply concerned by a prison term meted out to Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny on Tuesday, and repeated its call for his immediate release, saying it would coordinate closely with allies about how to hold Russia accountable.

“The United States is deeply concerned by Russian authorities’ decision to sentence opposition figure (Alexei) Navalny to two years and eight months imprisonment,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

“Even as we work with Russia to advance U.S. interests, we will coordinate closely with our allies and partners to hold Russia accountable for failing to uphold the rights of its citizens.”

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