Just as he was leaving jail after serving 30 days for staging an unpermitted protest in January, Alexey Navalny was detained again and dragged to another courtroom on September 24, to face charges for promoting a rally on September 9 against pension reform that lead to injury or property damage (a violation of Administrative Code 20.2). Hours later, he was convicted and sentenced to 20 more days in jail.
This could lead to a new felony case against Navalny
Alexey Glukhov, a lawyer at the Golos-sponsored “Protest Apology” project, told the newsletter The Bell that Alexey Navalny was charged with the “exotic” Administrative Code 20.2 misdemeanor possibly in order to pave the way for felony charges under Criminal Code Article 212.1 against repeated violations of laws on public assemblies.
Activist Ildar Dadin previously challenged this criminal code in Russia’s Supreme Court, where judges ruled that Article 212.1 could only be applied against individuals responsible for rallies that directly caused or threatened physical injuries. Now that Navalny has been convicted of violating 212.1, prosecutors have grounds to try him for the felony, which carries a maximum five-year prison sentence, Glukhov argues.