Alexei Navalny lawyer says denied access to Moscow police cell
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is being denied access to legal representation, his lawyer said Monday, after the Kremlin critic was detained at a Moscow airport on arrival from Germany.
Navalny lawyer Olga Mikhailova told the Echo of Moscow radio station she was not being permitted to see her client, who was being held at a police station near the airport after he returned to Russia on Sunday.
"I am not being allowed into the building of the police department in the district of Khimki," she said.
Navalny's spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said on Twitter that two of the opposition leader's lawyers had been allowed to enter the police building, but that they were not given access to him.
Navalny, a prominent critic of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, heads the Anti-Corruption Foundation, which on Monday described his detention as "illegal".
"Navalny is a Russian citizen. He was illegally detained," the group wrote on Twitter.
The 44-year-old's arrest by police at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport Sunday sparked a wave of calls for his release from Western countries.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday that the international condemnation was an attempt to divert attention from domestic problems in Western countries.
"It looks like Western politicians see this as an opportunity to divert attention from the deepest crisis the liberal development model has found itself in," he said.
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