Russian opposition leader, Kremlin critic and prominent political blogger Alexei Navalny said on Monday that he would no longer abide by the terms of his ‘illegal’ house arrest, defiantly cutting off his monitoring bracelet.
“I refuse to comply with the requirements of my illegal detention under house arrest,” Navalny wrote on Twitter and his blog.
— Alexey Navalny (@navalny) January 5, 2015
“The bracelet took some effort, but it has been cut off with kitchen scissors,” read the caption beneath the photo of the anklet posted on his website.
Russian law states that house arrest can only be ordered for suspects who have not yet been convicted, wrote Navalny, who is also a lawyer.
Describing his house arrest as “a kind of prison,” Navalny claimed to be the “only man in Russian history sitting under house arrest after the verdict.”
Navalny, however, said he does not plan to leave Moscow but would travel only between his home and office, and on “leisure activities with the family.”
A Moscow court on Dec. 30 found Navalny and his brother, Oleg, guilty of embezzling more than $500,000 from French cosmetics firm Yves Rosher. The brothers and their supporters have decried the case as trumped up, calling it punishment for Navalny’s outspoken criticism of the government and his political activity.
The court handed down a suspended sentence of three years and six months to Navalny, but it sent his brother, Oleg, to prison for the same amount of time.
Later that day, Navalny violated the terms of his house arrest when he attempted to join protesters at Moscow’s central Manezh Square, where he urged supporters to protest the government and his brother’s sentence. But he was detained by police officers mere blocks from the protest and taken home.