Russian state prosecutors are seeking a 3.5-year sentence for opposition politician Alexei Navalny, alleging parole violations.
Authorities arrested Navalny, a critic of Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinRussian military says it test-fired hypersonic missile Is Ukraine Putin's Taiwan? Biden administration resists tougher Russia sanctions in Congress MORE, upon his return to Russia last month after he spent months recovering from nerve agent attack on a Russian flight. He is serving 30 days in prison.
Russia’s Prosecutor General’s office labeled the court’s petition as legal and justified, noting it will ask for the request to be granted after the court reviews it on Tuesday, Reuters reported Monday.
The 44-year-old Putin critic and his allies have requested his supporters demonstrate outside of the court in Moscow on Tuesday, according to news reports, two days after more than 5,100 Russians, including 80 journalists, were arrested during rallies in Moscow protesting his detainment.
The treatment of Navalny and his supporters has sparked international criticism, including from the U.S., where Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenEcuador's security crisis warrants US assistance At least 20 Sudan troops dead after clash on Ethiopia border Germany calls on Congress not to sanction Nord Stream 2 pipeline: report MORE released a statement condemning Moscow's “harsh tactics against peaceful protesters and journalists.”
Reps. Gregory MeeksGregory Weldon MeeksThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Democrats ask what went wrong on Election Day On The Money — Presented by Citi — Pelosi plays hardball with Manchin Pelosi presses ahead on vote without Manchin buy-in MORE (D-N.Y.) and Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulBiden administration resists tougher Russia sanctions in Congress China draws scrutiny over case of tennis star Peng Shuai House GOP seek to block Biden from reopening Palestinian mission in Jerusalem MORE (R-Texas), the chairman and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, also blasted the arrests in a Monday joint statement, calling for their immediate release.
"The United States and broader transatlantic community stand in solidarity with the Russian people who — despite the threat of violent arrest and freezing cold — continue to demand their fundamental human rights and due process of law be respected and the Putin regime be held accountable for its shameless corruption," the lawmakers said.
But Russia dismissed the international concerns.
“We are not prepared to accept or heed American statements about this,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to Reuters.
“There can be no conversation with hooligans and provocateurs, the law should be applied with the utmost severity,” Peskov added.
Vladimir Ashurkov, an ally to Navalny, sent a letter to President Biden over the weekend asking for sanctions against Putin’s allies, something Russia warned the U.S. against pursuing.