Russian Opposition Politician Navalny Released From Jail After Serving 10 Days

MOSCOW -- Russian opposition politician and anti-corruption blogger Aleksei Navalny has been released from jail after serving the 10 days he was sentenced to for attending an unsanctioned protest.

Navalny told journalists after he left a Moscow jail on July 11 that his incarceration was illegal, as was the jailing of other activists for taking part in a rally intended to maintain pressure on authorities following the arrest of a journalist in June.

Navalny also vowed to start supporting independent candidates who are facing problems registering to run in the September election to the Moscow City Duma.

Navalny was sentenced to 10 days in jail on July 1 after a Moscow court ruled that he had repeatedly violated the law by organizing and participating in unsanctioned public events.

Investigators said then that Navalny chanted political slogans on June 12 while taking part in a march in Moscow to support investigative journalist Ivan Golunov, who had been arrested earlier in the month on a drug charge that was widely considered to have been fabricated.

He was among more than 200 people detained for participating in the public gathering that was not permitted by city authorities.

In a surprising reversal, Golunov was released on June 11 and the charges against him were dropped.

It was the first jail sentence given to the vocal Kremlin foe this year.

He had been sentenced to jail 12 times in recent years and served more than 200 days in incarceration.