Russian opposition campaign chief jailed over rally

Moscow (AFP) –


The campaign chief of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was jailed on Friday for 30 days over an unauthorised rally earlier this year, the activist and his lawyer said.

Navalny's right-hand man Leonid Volkov was sentenced by a court in Nizhny Novgorod over a public meeting in the same city on September 29.

"Judge Sveshnikov spends ten minutes in his chambers and I'm arrested for 30 days," Volkov said via Twitter.

"It's funny, Mark is 24 days old, so I'll be inside for more than half his life," the activist said, referring to his young son.

Volkov has already served four days of his sentence and is set to be released on December 26.

Volkov's lawyer Ivan Zhdanov confirmed the conviction to AFP and said he was planning to appeal.

Navalny said in a tweet the judgement showed "(President Vladimir) Putin and the entire Kremlin are scared of our campaign and the support that we have".

The opposition leader, who has declared his intention to stand in presidential elections in 2018, has served three jail terms this year on similar charges.

The charismatic 41-year-old lawyer has faced a constant stream of official bans on public meetings, as well as violent attacks on him and his supporters and vandalism of his offices.

Putin has yet to announce his candidacy but is widely expected to run and win a fourth term.