Russian opposition leader jailed for 15 days after anti-corruption protests

Moscow [Russia], Mar. 28 : Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been fined and sentenced to 15 days in prison for disobeying police orders and organising anti-government protests.

Navalny was jailed and given a 20,000-rouble (280 pounds) fine by a Moscow court for disobeying police orders and organising the protests, which led to more than 1,000 people being detained, reports the Guardian.

Thousands of people rallied in dozens of cities across Russia on Sunday following a call by Navalny to protest over an investigation into Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's alleged corruption.

Navalny's team released a video alleging Medvedev had amassed a collection of palaces, yachts and vineyards during his time in office.

Authorities in most cities had denied permission for the rallies. Police arrested those who were holding posters or chanting slogans. A rights group monitoring the arrests said on Monday morning that 1,030 people had been detained in Moscow alone.

About 120 remained in custody on Monday morning. Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the protests as "a provocation" and claiming that some teenagers had been promised cash if they were arrested.

He said the response of police had been "highly professional and lawful" and said Putin had been informed that "an illegal action" had taken place in central Moscow.

Navalny, who rose to prominence during the large-scale anti-government protests in Russia in 2011, has announced he plans to run for the Russian presidency in 2018.

In February, he was found guilty of embezzlement in a retrial of a case that dates back to 2013. Russian law prevents convicted criminals running for public office, but Navalny has appealed the verdict.

Sunday's demonstrations come at a time when the safety of critics of Vladimir Putin is under scrutiny.

Last week, former Russian lawmaker and vocal critic of the Russian Government Denis Voronenkov was shot dead outside a luxury hotel in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.

Source: ANI