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Russian Opposition Leader Navalny Condemns Lawyers' Arrest

Alexei Navalny. Team Navalny / Telegram

Jailed Russian politician Alexei Navalny condemned the arrest of three of his lawyers as he stood trial in the prison where he is being held, Russian media at the hearing said on Tuesday.

Lawyers Vadim Kobzev, Igor Sergunin and Alexei Lipster — who have all defended Navalny — were detained last week.

"Of course these are outrageous and illegal acts," Navalny said. He said the lawyers were "persecuted for their professional activity."

"Nobody is allowed to see me. I am completely isolated from information," he added.

He said it was part of an intensifying campaign to further isolate him and that he saw it as a sign that his team was acting "correctly" in the face of "these disgusting authorities."

Navalny said the lawyers were targeted for their "professional activity" and that it was part of a campaign to further isolate him since he had his sentence extended to 19 years this summer.

While cracking down on dissenters, Russia has still rarely targeted lawyers, a trend many worry will now change.

The three lawyers were remanded in pre-trial detention until at least Dec. 13.

On Monday, Navalny's allies said they feared for another lawyer, Alexander Fedulov, saying they did not know where he was.

The next day they said he had fled Russia.

Navalny will soon be moved to a "special regime" colony — the harshest type of prison reserved for Russia's worst criminals that will severely limit his contact with lawyers and family.

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