Navalny's Doctor Handed Parole-Like Sentence Over COVID Safety Violations.

A Russian court has imposed one year of restrictions on freedom of movement on Anastasia Vasilyeva, the personal doctor of jailed Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny, after finding her guilty of breaching COVID-19 safety rules.
Vasilyeva, also the chief of the Alliance of Doctors NGO, was prosecuted for urging people earlier this year to join a protest against Navalny's imprisonment that authorities said was illegal due to COVID-19 safety restrictions. Vasilyeva, who famously played piano while police recently ransacked her apartment during a crackdown over the past year against Navalny and his allies, has been under increasing pressure from the authorities. In March, the Alliance of Doctors was placed on the state's controversial "foreign agents" list, which has been used to stymie monitoring groups and the media, to disqualify prominent opposition candidates, to drive opposition leaders to flee the country, and to restrict access to volunteers and fundraising for any person or group placed on it. On September 1, Moscow police detained her and took her to a court hearing to first face the charges of allegedly violating restrictive measures aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus, although no ruling was issued at that time. Navalny is one of the most prominent opponents of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He was arrested in Moscow in January after returning from Germany, where he was treated for a near-fatal nerve-agent poisoning. He and his supporters say the poisoning was carried out by Federal Security Service (FSB) operatives at the behest of Putin in retribution for Navalny's political activities. The Kremlin has denied any role in the incident. In February, Navalny was convicted of violating the terms of a suspended sentence related to an embezzlement case that he has called politically motivated. The remainder of Navalny's suspended sentence, 2 1/2 years, was then replaced with a real prison term. Thousands of Russians were detained during nationwide protests calling for his release.

Based on reporting by Reuters and TASS

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