31 May 2018 14:00

Moscow City Court upholds Navalny spokesman Yarmysh's sentence

MOSCOW. May 31 (Interfax) - The Moscow City Court on Thursday upheld the sentence of Kira Yarmysh, the press secretary of opposition activist Alexei Navalny, to 25 days in jail for violating the rules governing the organization of a protest in central Moscow on May 5, an Interfax correspondent has reported.

"The appeal is declined. The decision made by the first-instance court is upheld," the judge said in his decision.

Last Wednesday, Moscow's Tverskoi District Court found Yarmysh guilty of a repeat violation of the procedure for organizing a public event and sentenced her to 25 days of administrative arrest.

In Mid-April, Navalny's supporters notified the Moscow mayor's office about holding a mass event called "For the Right to Be a Citizen," involving a procession along Tverskaya Street and a rally on Manezhnaya Square on May 5.

In response, the authorities suggested a number of alternative routes in various Moscow districts, saying that the center needed to be prepped for the Victory Parade and other celebratory events.

Navalny and rally organizers were not satisfied with any of suggested venues and urged their supporters on social networks to gather on Pushkinskaya Square on May 5.

According to police, about 1,500 people, many of whom shouted slogans opposing the incumbent authorities and displayed banners, gathered on Tverskaya, despite Moscow prosecutors' warning about participating in unauthorized rallies.

After repeatedly demanding that participants in the rally disperse, police began detaining them. According to official reports, 300 people were detained, though the opposition said the real figure exceeded 500.

Navalny was detained on Pushkinskaya Square. Two administrative protocols, one on a repeat violation of the procedure for organizing a public event and the other on resisting police, were filed against him. On May 15, the Tverskoi District Court found him guilty and sentenced him to 30 and 15 days of arrest for the two charges. The terms are not cumulative, so Navalny will spend 30 days in custody.