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Moscow Police Summon Opposition Leader Navalny for Questioning

March 13, 2012

Moscow police summoned Russian opposition leader and anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny for questioning, his lawyer said.

Navalny and employees of his website Rospil, dedicated to uncovering government fraud, have been ordered to appear tomorrow, the attorney, Dmitry Volov said by phone. “Navalny has no intention of going there as they didn’t provide any justification for the summons,” he said.

The authorities may try to bring charges of extremism against Navalny, another lawyer for the activist, Vadim Kobzyov, told Ekho Moskvy radio. The summons came from a police department for combating extremism, Navalny said on his blog. The Moscow police press service declined to comment.

Navalny, who was jailed for 15 days in December after taking part in an unsanctioned rally, is one of the most prominent opposition figures who organized anti-government demonstrations to protest election results. Authorities may seek to curb protest rallies in the capital because of the disruption they bring to city life, Deputy Mayor Alexander Gorbenko said yesterday.

Mass protests against alleged electoral fraud brought tens of thousands of people onto the streets in Moscow and other cities starting in December, sparking the largest unrest in Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s decade in power. While the demonstrations showed signs of cooling, with 10,000 to 25,000 people taking part in a March 10 rally in Moscow, opposition leaders are vowing to keep up protests after Putin’s disputed election to a new Kremlin term on March 4.

A Moscow district court will hear a case on March 15 involving Navalny’s detention on March 5 for refusing to leave the city’s Pushkin Square after taking part in an authorized demonstration.

To contact the reporter on this story: Henry Meyer in Moscow at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at

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