Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny smiled and flashed a peace sign after a Moscow court rejected his appeal and upheld his two-and-half year sentence in a Russian labor camp.
In a ruling Saturday that was widely expected, the judge upheld a decision to imprison the anti-corruption activist, who has revealed lavish properties owned by Russian leader Vladimir Putin and his political cronies. The judge reversed the activist’s parole in a 2014 embezzlement case that Navalny had said was politically motivated, according to reports.
Navalny, 44, addressed his supporters from a glass-enclosed cell in the courtroom, invoking his faith in God and drawing on inspiration from cartoons and “Harry Potter.”
“To live is to risk all,” he said, quoting from the cartoon “Rick and Morty.” “Otherwise you’re just an inert chunk of randomly assembled molecules drifting wherever the universe blows you.”
Navalny, the country’s most popular opposition activist, survived an alleged government-ordered poisoning in August and then duped a Russian spy