Large Russian city’s anti-Putin former mayor jailed for 14 days pending trial

Streaming HUBMarch 16, 2023

A former mayor of Russia’s fourth-largest city was ordered on Thursday to spend 14 days in detention, which could lead to a longer prison sentence, as part of efforts by authorities to quell dissent.

Yevgeny Rozman, a fierce critic of the Kremlin, is one of the most visible and charismatic opposition figures in Russia. He gained widespread popularity while serving as mayor of Yekaterinburg, a city of 1.5 million people in the Ural Mountains.

Last year, Roizman, 60, who was mayor from 2013 to 2018, faced charges of defaming the Russian military and participating in public events, using the internet, telephone or mail and barring his lawyers and close family Blocked from communicating with anyone. testing.

Russia detains opposition leader over criticism of war in Ukraine

Police arrested Roizman on Thursday on charges of re-posting material referencing an organization led by jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny that had been banned by authorities. Roizman rejected the charges during a court hearing in Yekaterinburg after being taken into custody, insisting he was not even registered on that social network. His lawyer argued that the repost was done by members of one of his many support groups.

Despite Roizman’s pleas, the Yekaterinburg court sentenced him to 14 days in prison. The ruling will bar him from running in the elections scheduled for later this year, although Roseman has not expressed his intention to run.

Former Yekaterinburg, Russia, Mayor Yevgeny Rozyman, a prominent Putin critic, has been ordered to spend at least 14 days in jail pending trial.

Former Yekaterinburg, Russia, Mayor Yevgeny Rozyman, a prominent Putin critic, has been ordered to spend at least 14 days in jail pending trial. (AP Photo/Vladimir Podokyanov)

It was not clear whether authorities would use his sentence to keep him behind bars for breaking the internet no-use order. It was also unclear what the sentence would mean for his separate trial on charges of defaming the military expected to open later this month.

Rozman was repeatedly fined by courts last year for defaming the military and, if convicted, could face up to three years in prison for repeated offences.

Human rights group says thousands of Russians arrested protesting Putin’s crackdown

Days after Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine last year, Russian lawmakers approved legislation that outlawed the Russian military’s alleged disloyalty or the spread of “false information” about the country’s military operation in Ukraine. . Critics of Moscow’s actions in Ukraine have been increasingly jailed by courts across the country.

Roizman was one of the few opposition figures to appear in Russia who had not yet been jailed or fled the country under pressure from the authorities. A prominent opposition politician, Ilya Yashin, was sentenced to 8½ years in prison for defaming the military, and another top opposition figure, Vladimir Kara-Murza, was jailed on the same charges and is now on trial. are facing.

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His lawyer Vadim Prokhorov said that Kara-Murza’s health has deteriorated significantly while behind bars. The politician could not attend Thursday’s court hearing and it was cancelled, Prokhorov said on Facebook. Prokhorov said the defense would work on bringing the politician to a civilian hospital for examination and treatment, and to release him from custody pending trial.


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