Associates of Russian opposition leader held over protest

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Associates of Russian opposition leader held over protest
A protester holds placards reading, top; "Madness does not end 1917 - 20 - ?" and "Calamity" beneath an image of Russian President Vladimir Putin, during a rally at Pushkin square, in Moscow, Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018. Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been arrested in Moscow as protest demonstrations called by him took place across the country. (AP Photo/Andrew Lubimov)

MOSCOW (AP) — Several associates of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny have been sentenced to 10 to 30 days in custody for staging an unsanctioned rally in Moscow.

The verdicts came a day after about 1,000 Navalny supporters marched across the Russian capital to promote a voter boycott of the March 18 presidential election and to protest election officials’ decision barring Navalny’s candidacy.

Officials let the march proceed, but detained Navalny for several hours. He is to face a court later this week.

Sergei Boiko, the head of Navalny’s headquarters in Moscow, was ordered detained for 15 days Monday. Several other activists received sentences ranging from 10 to 30 days.

Smaller rallies were also held in dozens of Russian cities Sunday, and police detained about 300 people nationwide.