Protesters rally for Navalny
More than 1,700 protesters have been rounded up by Russian police after participating in nationwide protests against opposition figure Alexei Navalny’s treatment in prison. Navalny was moved to a prison hospital earlier this week after starting a hunger strike 3 weeks ago over his alleged mistreatment by prison authorities. His allies fear he could soon die and are calling for the release of the outspoken Putin critic, who was jailed on embezzlement charges he says are politically motivated. Officials have said Navalny has been treated like any other prisoner and denounced the demonstrations as illegal. Organisers had hoped the protests – which coincided with President Vladimir Putin’s annual State of the Nation address – would be the largest in years. But reports say many stayed away following warnings from authorities.
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