Alexei Navalny says detention extended for another 30 days

Russia's opposition leader to remain in detention until after protests he organised against unpopular pension reforms.

    Alexei Navalny says detention extended for another 30 days
    Navalny has been calling for mass protests on September 9 against unpopular pension reform plans [Tatyana Makeyeva/Reuters]

    Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has said he will be held in prison for another 30 days following his arrest in Moscow on Saturday.

    While it is not clear if there are charges against Navalny, his spokesperson, Kira Yarmysh, said in a Russian radio interview on Saturday that his arrest was "probably linked" to his call for protests against the Russian government's unpopular pension reform.

    On Monday, Navalny attended a hearing at the Tverskyi court and said he spent two days "in a dark tramp's cell", before urging supporters to go ahead with the planned protests, saying he would be unable to take part due to his detention.

    "I don't doubt that you will be able to do it without me. The protest will be held in almost 100 cities in the country, you must join," he said in an Instagram post.

    "Swindlers and thieves will not quit by themselves and no one except for us can defend our pensions and our present and future. Whoever stays at home enables the thieves."

    После двух суток в темной бомже-каморке ОВД рад оказаться даже в Тверском суде! Тут хотя бы свет есть. Старик Путин так боится нашей акции 09.09. против повышения пенсионного возраста, что я сейчас явно уеду суток на 30 и сам организовывать все дальше не смогу. Но не сомневаюсь, что вы и без меня справитесь. Акции пройдут почти в ста городах страны, обязательно выходите. Жулики и воры сами себя не прогонят и никто, кроме нас самих свои пенсии (нынешние и будущие) не защитит. Кто останется дома, тот поможет ворам. Не скучайте.

    A post shared by Алексей Навальный (@navalny) onAug 27, 2018 at 12:39am PDT

    Translation: After two days in the dark tramps’ cell in detention, I'm happy to find myself at the Tverskyi court. Here there's at least light. Old Putin is so afraid of our protest on 09.09 against the increase of retirement age that I will be detained for another 30 days and I won't be able to organise anything else myself. But I don't doubt that you will be able to do it without me. The protest will be held in almost 100 cities in the country, you must join. Swindlers and thieves will not quit by themselves and no one except for us can defend our pensions and our present and future. Whoever stays at home enables the thieves. Don't miss me.

    More than 10,000 people have taken part in protests against plans to raise the retirement age from 60 to 65 for men and from 55 to 63 for women. The change would also affect the age at which Russians can receive retirement pensions from the state.

    Unions and activists have raised concerns that, should the proposal be accepted, many people may not live long enough to claim a state pension.

    According to the World Health Organization, Russian men have an average life expectancy of 66 years. For women, the figure is 77.

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    Critics say in some regions, the new retirement age would exceed life expectancy.

    Almost three million Russians have signed a petition against the reform, which is backed by President Vladimir Putin's ruling party.

    Navalny, who was barred from taking part in Russia's presidential election that took place in March, served a month in prison in June after organising demonstrations before Putin's fourth inauguration in May. 

    He was freed the day the football World Cup started in Russia. 

    The 42-year-old anti-corruption activist has faced a string of charges since becoming leading opposition figure campaigning against Putin's rule at mass demonstrations in 2011 and 2012.

    In Search of Putin's Russia: Kremlin Rules

    In Search of Putin’s Russia

    In Search of Putin's Russia: Kremlin Rules

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


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