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Russian Opposition Ex-Mayor Roizman Jailed Over Social Media Post

Former Yekaterinburg Mayor Yevgeny Roizman. Donat Sorokin / TASS

Updated to add Roizman's sentencing.

Russian opposition politician and former Yekaterinburg Mayor Yevgeny Roizman has been jailed over a social media post in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, the local media outlet It's My City reported Thursday.

Roizman was accused of posting a video clip that briefly showed the logo of Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation, which was outlawed as an "extremist" organization in 2021, on social media platform VKontakte last February, according to police.

A court in Yekaterinburg sentenced Roizman to 14 days of administrative arrest after finding him guilty on charges of sharing symbols related to an "extremist" organization, It's My City reported.

His lawyer Vladislav Idamzhapov said his client hadn’t shared the video and that the VKontakte page in question did not belong to him.

"We immediately state that Yevgeny Roizman did not take part in this offense, as he never had a personal account on VKontakte and never used this social media," Idamzhapov told the state-run TASS news agency ahead of the trial.

“I do not admit that the event even took place, let alone my guilt,” Roizman said on his way to the court.

The Moscow Times has sent a request for comment to Idamzhapov.

Roizman, one of the last opposition figures still in the country and not behind bars, is already awaiting trial on charges of "discrediting" the Russian army, which could see him imprisoned for at least three years.  

He was arrested and released pending trial in August on charges of "discrediting" the military for comments criticizing Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. 

Roizman has already been fined three times for criticizing Russia's offensive in Ukraine.

More than 450 people, including prominent Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza, face criminal prosecution for voicing opposition to the war in Ukraine, according to the OVD-Info monitoring group.

Roizman served as mayor of Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth-largest city, from 2013-2018. He was a member of Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, in 2003-07.

AFP contributed reporting.

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