After receiving a short jail sentence over unauthorized protests, the anti-corruption activist has been set free. Despite an election ban, Alexei Navalny has vowed to challenge Vladimir Putin for the presidency.
Russian authorities on Monday released opposition leader Alexei Navalny after serving a 15-day sentence for his involvement in anti-corruption protests that shook the country last month.
After members of the press waited for his release at the jail where he was being detained, Navalny's campaign manager announced that he had been transferred to another detention center and released there, away from media.
Navalny, who has vowed to run in the 2018 presidential election, was among more than 1,000 people detained in Moscow during one of the largest unauthorized protests in years.
The European Parliament last week passed a resolution calling for the immediate release of the anti-corruption activist along with other protesters, journalists and activists detained during the rallies.
It called on the EU to send a "strong common message on the role of human rights in the EU-Russia relationship and the need to end the crackdown on freedom of expression, assembly and association in Russia."
Last month, Navalny and his Anti-Corruption Foundation released an hour-long documentary exposing Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's secret wealth masked by a shadowy network of nonprofit organizations supported by oligarchs.
After the video's release, Navalny called on the Russian government for an official reaction, but the Kremlin solely described it as election propaganda.
Despite a ban on running for the presidency, Navalny's campaign organizers have sought to reverse the restriction by showing the damage caused by not allowing him to participate is a greater risk than allowing him to do so.
ls/rt (AP, AFP)