Russian authorities detain former dissident mayor Yevgeny Roizman

Yevgeny Roizman, a critic of the Kremlin, is one of Russia’s most visible and charismatic opposition figures. He enjoyed widespread popularity while serving as mayor of Yekaterinburg, a city of 1.5 million in the Ural Mountains.

Last year, the 60-year-old Roizman, who was mayor from 2013 to 2018, faced accusations of discrediting the Russian military and was banned from attending public events, using the internet, phone or mail, and from communicating with anyone other than his lawyers. and close family members. .

Police arrested him on Thursday on charges of reposting material containing a reference to the organization led by jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny that was banned by authorities.

oscar navalny
Alexei Navalny (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP)

Roizman denied the accusations, telling a court in Yekaterinburg during a hearing after his arrest that he was not registered on the social network. His attorney said the post was made by members of one of his numerous support groups.

If convicted, he could face a 15-day arrest or new criminal charges related to the alleged violation of the terms of his sentence last year.

Courts repeatedly fined him last year on charges of discrediting the military, paving the way for a criminal case that could be opened for repeat offenders.

Days after President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine last year, Russian lawmakers passed legislation banning alleged disparagement of the Russian military or spreading “false information” about the country’s military operation in Ukraine.

Courts across the country have increasingly handed down prison terms for critics of Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.

Roizman remains one of the few visible opposition figures in Russia who has not yet been jailed or fled the country under pressure from the authorities.

Another prominent opposition politician, Ilya Yashin, was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison on charges of discrediting the armed forces, and another, Vladimir Kara-Murza, was jailed on the same charges and faces trial.


Leave a Reply