Russian Opposition Leader, Alexei Navalny, Finds Solace in God After Getting Jail Term

On Saturday, February 20, Russia’s top opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, lost an appeal against going to jail. However, he stated that he has faith in God that He will help him to overcome his challenges. Some hours afterwards, he was found guilty in a defamation case.

An appeal court in Moscow upheld a prison sentence and said that Navalny would be imprisoned for only over two-and-a-half years in a punitive colony. Judge Dmitry Balashov refused Navalny’s dispute against the ruling on February 2 by a lower court. From just being a suspended sentence, it turned into an actual jail term.

The judge took a decision to include the period Navalny was under house arrest as part of his prison sentence. This period was for six weeks. The sentence began as a result of a 2014 misappropriation conviction which Navalny refused as fabricated.

However, his arrest was ruled by the European Court of Human Rights as unlawful. Hence, his release was demanded. Across Russia, his detention has triggered protests. In response, the authorities launched an onslaught on the protesters and about 11,000 persons were arrested and many of them were either fined or given jail terms which ranged from 7 to 15 days.

After some months in Germany, Navalny returned to Russia in January, having recovered from a nerve agent poisoning which he blames on the Kremlin. It was in this period that he was arrested.

As a result of breaching the parole conditions of the suspended sentence, which included constantly reporting to the police, Navalny was kept in custody. In his statement, Navalny said that the charges are absurd because he could not have reported to the police while he was recovering from the nerve agent attack. He affirmed that his whereabouts was known to the world.

When he recovered, he purchased a ticket and went home. He also lost in another trial last Saturday. In this case, he was charged with defamation of character when he called a World War II veteran a “traitor” after the man appeared in a pro-Kremlin video.

Furthermore, protesters have demanded that Navalny be fined the correspondent of $13,000 in that case. While responding to his present predicament, Navalny spoke from the Moscow appeal court behind a cage’s window.

He said that he was an atheist before but he now believes in God. He admitted that his faith is a morale booster for him to pass through his challenges. The married father of two also noted that he has faith in the Bible verse that says, “those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed.” He concluded that he has no regrets when he took the decision to return home.

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