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Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny Is Suing Putin For Barring Rallies

Alexei Navalny / Youtube

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny has filed a lawsuit against President Vladimir Putin for blocking citizens from demonstrating.

Navalny is barred from running in presidential elections next March due to an embezzlement conviction his supporters say is politically motivated. The presidential hopeful was detained for 20 days last month for organizing unsanctioned campaign events.

"The (Tverskoy) court has officially registered the lawsuit filed by Alexei Navalny against the President of the Russian Federation," Anastasia Dzyurko, a spokeswoman for the court, was cited as saying by the Interfax news agency.

Court documents posted to Twitter by Navalny’s chief lawyer, Ivan Zhdanov show the opposition leader accuses Putin of illegally blocking Russians from holding rallies.

"Every week we send about 200 applications, and we’re always refused, which is absolutely illegal," Navalny wrote in a Nov. 1 post on his blog.

“Putin personally gave this type of order (to block opposition rallies) because he is simply afraid of our election campaign."

“We will present exhaustive evidence of how city administrations across the country act in an organized manner with explicit directions from Moscow." Navalny added.

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