Many protesters injured by security forces during Navalny protests

Navalny supporters
Navalny supporters

dpa/GNA – Many people were injured during the protests against a controversial prison sentence for leading Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, according to human rights activists.

Some of the detained suffered injuries to the hands, arms or head due to police violence, the rights portal OVD reported on Wednesday, adding that in some cases, security forces had refused to call medical help.

In Moscow alone, 13 people visited doctors, while eight protesters were held in a prison van in St Petersburg for over three hours, news agency Interfax reported.

OVD counted over 1,400 arrests during the rallies against the jail sentence for Navalny, with over 1,100 in the capital Moscow.

Interfax reported about 1,300 arrests after the demonstrations in Moscow on Tuesday, with many of the participants expected to be handed a fine – or having to spend several days in detention.

A Moscow court handed Navalny a 3.5-year prison sentence on Tuesday for a probation violation – he failed to check in with authorities while he was in Germany recovering from a poisoning attack.

According to his lawyers, Navalny may only have to serve two years and eight months of the sentence as a previous house arrest may be taken into account.

The judgement sparked a wave of mass protests mainly in Moscow and St Petersburg by his supporters, with police sometimes responding with violence.

Just last Sunday, over 5,500 people were detained during rallies calling for the release of Navalny and protesting against corruption and arbitrary justice, according to human rights activists.

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