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Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was freed after 30 days in prison for urging supporters to join an unsanctioned election protest.
Navalny accused the authorities of carrying out “acts of intimidation and terror in relation to the arrests of random people” to try to break opposition protests, after he walked out of detention in Moscow on Friday. The wave of protest “will grow and this regime will greatly regret what it has done,” he told reporters.
Navalny was jailed last month after calling on followers to attend a July 27 protest against the exclusion of dozens of opposition candidates from Moscow city council elections in September. While in prison, he was briefly taken to hospital for treatment to what his doctor said was “a toxic reaction to an unknown chemical substance,” leading Navalny to ask whether he had been poisoned.
Unlike a number of other opposition leaders, Navalny wasn’t immediately detained by police after his release, his press secretary Kira Yarmush said on Twitter.
Riot police have detained thousands of protesters in brutal crackdowns on demonstrations over the authorities’ refusal to register opposition and independent candidates for the Sept. 8 elections in Moscow. The issue has revived the anti-Kremlin movement and led to as many as 60,000 joining a sanctioned protest this month, the biggest opposition demonstration since Vladimir Putin regained the presidency in 2012. Another protest is planned for Aug. 31.
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