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April 18, 2014

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Russian opposition activist convicted for protest

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 | 5:45 a.m.

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny has been sentenced to seven days in prison after participating in an anti-government protest.

A Moscow court convicted Navalny on Tuesday for resisting police orders during a Monday protest near Red Square, where police say they detained 420 of about 500 demonstrators.

The sentence could prove particularly dangerous for Navalny, an anti-corruption blogger, lawyer, and vocal Kremlin critic who was convicted for embezzlement in July but ultimately given a five-year suspended sentence. According to Russian law, Navalny's latest conviction allows authorities to extend his sentence, and if he is charged again they will be able to convert his suspended sentence into jail time.

Unsanctioned demonstrations have become rare since the government signed anti-protest legislation in 2012, levying heavy fines and even jail terms on protesters.