Staff and supporters of presidential hopeful Alexei Navalny have been arrested and fined across Russia for organizing unauthorized demonstrations on Sunday that called for a “voters’ strike” of the March 2018 presidential elections.
On Jan. 31, Kira Yarmysh, the press secretary for Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Fund, was jailed for 5 days on charges of organizing a public event without a permit, and Ruslan Shaveddinov, his election campaign spokesman, was sentenced to 8 days, the Meduza news website reported. The two staffers were arrested upon arrival at Moscow airport on Tuesday.
On January 28, Navalny’s staff ran a live feed of the boycott demonstrations on the opposition politician’s YouTube channel.
An estimated 371 protesters in dozens of cities across Russia were detained, and ultimately 120 of them were handed short jail sentences or fines, according to the OVD-info police monitoring group.
Yarmysh was reportedly given the 5 sentence for a retweeting a video that “formed a negative opinion of another candidate” in the elections, Navalny wrote in a Twitter post on Wednesday.