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Rights NGO Memorial Adds Navalny to List of Russian Political Prisoners

Navalny, the most recognizable addition to the 45-name list, was convicted last year of charges that supporters say were politically motivated, but he was given a suspended sentence.

A Russian human rights organization updated its list of the country's political prisoners Monday to include opposition leader Alexei Navalny and other activists.

Memorial, a longstanding NGO that operates in 49 regions of Russia, said in a statement that it was adding individuals who were currently under house arrest, like Navalny, and others who have been deprived of their freedom for political reasons since it published its previous list in February.

The list's latest additions also include Andrei Barabanov, Alexei Gaskarov, Ilya Gushchin and Yaroslav Belousov, activists imprisoned on charges of participating in a protest that turned violent on Moscow's Bolotnaya Square in summer 2012 against Vladimir Putin's return to the presidency.

Navalny, the most recognizable addition to the 45-name list, was convicted last year of charges that supporters say were politically motivated, but he was given a suspended sentence.

The anti-corruption campaigner, who ran for mayor of Moscow last fall and was a leader of the protest movement against Putin's return as Russian leader, is currently under house arrest as part of a case into the alleged defrauding of $760,000 from French cosmetics company Yves Rocher.

Activists Sergei Udaltsov and Leonid Razvozzhayev, who last month were each sentenced to 4 1/2 in prison after being found guilty of organizing riots in connection with the Bolotnaya protest, were already on the NGO's list.

Memorial, which received the politically charged "foreign agent" label from the Justice Ministry last month, said in its statement that it did not necessarily agree with the actions, views or statements of individuals on its political prisoner lists.

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