The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Thursday that Russia’s repeated arrests and detention of opposition leader Alexei Navalny were politically motivated and breached his human rights, a decision certain to displease the Kremlin. The court, based in Strasbourg, said Navalny had been subject to seven such arrests in 2012 and in 2014 and that at least two of those arrests had been designed to suppress political pluralism. “The court found that there was ‘converging contextual evidence’ that the authorities were becoming increasingly severe towards Mr Navalny and that his allegation of being a particular target appeared coherent in the context of a general move to bring the opposition under control,” it said in a statement. It ordered Russia to pay about €64,000 in damages and costs to Navalny, saying his right to liberty, a fair trial and freedom of assembly had been violated. In a rebuke that Russia is likely to regard as interference in its internal affairs, the court also re...

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