Minister Stef Bloc of Foreign Affairs calls the arrest of the Russian opposition leader Aleksey Navalny “very disturbing.” He calls on the Russian government to release him immediately and go after those who tried to kill him last year. Navalny would be held for at least 30 days.
Navalny fell seriously ill in August after being poisoned with the neural poison novitsjok. For the past few months, he stayed in Germany. President Vladimir Putin‘s outspoken opponent returned to Russia last weekend, where he was immediately arrested.
Navalny’s lawyers say they haven‘t gotten access to their client yet. According to an ally, it was transferred to the city of Chimki, near the capital Moscow. According to opposition member Leonid Volkov, Navalny would be allowed to receive a member of his legal team during the morning.
Navalny has been brought before the judge, and the prosecutors demand that he stay in jail for 30 days, reported supporters of Navalny. Around 200 supporters have gathered at the police station to show their support for him. It is still unclear whether the prosecutors are targeting custody until a new trial can come or whether this is a punishment.
The Russian authorities arrested the 44-year-old politician Sunday, when he arrived at an airport in Moscow after a month of stay in Germany. Navalny is suspected of violating the terms of a parole sentence imposed on him. Several Western countries have demanded the release of President Vladimir Putin’s prominent opponent.