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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Russia detains opposition activist who criticized Putin over the war

Russian opposition leader Vladimir Kara-Murza in Arlington, Va., Aug. 19, 2016.

By Neil MacFarquhar

Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Russian opposition activist and vocal Kremlin critic, was sentenced Tuesday to 15 days in jail on charges of evading police near his home, his lawyer said.

The activist was detained near his home Monday after criticizing President Vladimir Putin for the invasion of Ukraine and was held in a central Moscow police station without access to his lawyer, his wife said in an email.

His lawyer, Vadim Prokhorov, who announced the sentence on his Facebook page, said he would appeal.

Prokhorov was able to see Kara-Murza on Tuesday and posted a picture on Facebook of the two men awaiting a court hearing.

In interviews in recent days with MSNBC and CNN, Kara-Murza blasted the Kremlin for shutting down all independent news media outlets in the country and criminalizing even the act of calling the invasion of Ukraine a war.

Kara-Murza was poisoned twice in recent years with undetermined toxins that sent him into comas that lasted days and left him with neurological damage.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Twitter that the United States was “troubled” by the arrest.

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