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Russian opposition leader Navalny released from jail

By Darryl Coote
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Russian opposition leader Navalny released from jail
Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny talks to members of the media as he leaves prison for serving a 30-day sentence in Moscow, Russia, Friday. Photo by Maxim Shipenkov/EPA-EFE

Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was released from a Moscow jail Friday, 30 days after being locked up for urging the public to join an unsanctioned protest.

"I have no doubt that despite genuine acts of intimidation and terror that are happening now as random people are being arrested that this wave [of protests] will increase and this regime will seriously regret what it has done," Navalny told reporters outside the Moscow detention center.

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Navalny was sentenced late July to 30 days in prison for urging the public to join an unsanctioned protest against the government's decision to prohibit opposition candidates from running for election in the 45-seat Moscow City Duma Parliament, which is controlled by the Pro-Putin United Russia party.

Thousands of supporters who've demanded Navalny and others like him to be added to the ballots for the Sept. 8 election have been rounded up and arrested while other opposition politicians have been detained, subjected to their homes being searched and harassed.

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He said Friday that this behavior of the government is proof it's afraid of their movement and that "there is no support for this regime."

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Navalny's release comes after the head of the jail attempted to have his release delayed for the time he spent in hospital during his detention, a request that was rejected by the court.

During his detention, Navalny was hospitalized for a short while due to an allergic reaction.

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"It is impossible to intimidate us," he said after his release on Instagram. "We despise the cowardly and thieving authorities, which previously had to lie and falsify in order to 'win' the elections, but now they can't do without arrests of candidates, beatings of peaceful protesters and searches, more like robberies."

He said United Russia does not have the support of the people and that he hopes the election will prove that.

"Awfully glad to be with you again," he said. "I missed you."

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