Sat, 20 Jul 2019

A Moscow court cut by half the 15-day jail term handed down earlier to a close aide of opposition figure Aleksei Navalny in what appears to be the latest concession by the state to appease disgruntled segments of the population.

Leonid Volkov, who was arrested last week for organizing a demonstration against an increase in retirement ages, will be released on June 18, according to Ivan Zhdanov, the director of Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation.

The court did not give a reason for reducing Volkov's jail term.

A court in Chechnya last week granted an early release to rights activist Oyub Titiyev, who was sentenced to four years in prison in March on drug charges he denies.

A day later, Moscow authorities closed the case against journalist Ivan Golunov, who was under house arrest on drug charges, following widespread protests.

A St. Petersburg court on June 17 downgraded extortion charges against Kaliningrad newspaper editor Ivan Rudnikov.

Volkov received the prison sentence on June 10 just hours after he served a 20-day jail term for live-streaming an unsanctioned rally in Moscow in September 2018.

The 38-year-old is a project manager at Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation, which investigates alleged corruption among government officials and those close to President Vladimir Putin.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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