RFE/RL – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (Author)
Investigators in Moscow have summoned opposition politician Aleksei Navalny for questioning over what they claim was an assault on the police officers who detained him at a rally late last month.
Navalny wrote on Twitter that police came to his home at 7:30 a.m. local time on February 5 and handed him two subpoenas.
He said he was accused of "hitting the police" who detained him at the protests, one of dozens that Navalny organized nationwide on January 28 to rally in support of his call for a boycott of Russia's upcoming presidential election.
Navalny also wrote on Instagram that the case against him was linked to a video showing the moment he was detained.
The video shows officers wrestling a struggling Navalny to the ground and bundling him into a police bus. It does not show him striking the police.
Navalny was among at least 350 people detained at the demonstrations on January 28.
The Investigative Committee said that several police officers suffered bodily injuries while detaining people at the protests.
Navalny was released later the same day pending a court hearing, which has not yet been held.
A vocal opponent of President Vladimir Putin, Navalny called for the boycott of the March 18 presidential poll after election authorities in December barred him from running because of a criminal conviction he contends was fabricated.
Navalny has said the vote will not be a real, democratic election but the "reappointment" of Putin, who has been president or prime minister since 1999 and is seeking a new six-year term.
Kremlin critics say most of the other candidates are being used as window-dressing in a vote that Putin is certain to win in Russia's tightly controlled political environment.
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