Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny was released on Monday after spending 15 days in jail for attending and organising an unauthorised rally against alleged corruption by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
Navalny was detained on March 27 after refusing to leave the rally in Tverskaya Street in Moscow. A court fined him $350 (20,000 rubles) for organising unauthorised protests and sentenced him to 15 days in jail for disobeying police.
His election campaign director Leonid Volkov said dozens of journalists were waiting outside the detention centre where he had been held in northern Moscow. Navalny plans to run in the presidential elections scheduled for 2018.
The opposition leader was moved to a different detention centre before his release to prevent his encounter with the press.
"We're waiting for Alexei here but he called me and said they moved him to another police station in Konkovo [in southern Moscow] and released him precisely at 2:28pm when his 15 days ran out," Volkov said.
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The March 27 rally came after Navalny's anti-corruption organisation released a report which alleged that Medvedev used corrupt practices to obtain luxury real estate assets in Russia and abroad.
Both the Kremlin and Medvedev denied the accusations.
The European Parliament urged Russia to release Navalny and others arrested at the Moscow protest and rallies held the same day in dozens of other Russian cities.