Russian media have reported that Lyubov Sobol, a key ally of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, fled Russia, reports that the lawyer and activist has not been confirmed.
Sobol was sentenced last week to a year and a half of “restricted liberty” after being convicted of inciting a violation of coronavirus rules by calling for pro-Navalny rallies this winter. The sentence imposed by the court involves a nighttime curfew and a ban on leaving Moscow and takes effect 10 days after conviction.
“There are reports that Sobol left for Istanbul,” Interfax said on Sunday, citing an anonymous source.
Public broadcaster Ren TV, also citing an anonymous source, claims that the opposition activist flew to Istanbul via Vnukovo airport on Saturday as a stopover to an unknown location.
Sobol, 33, did not confirm the information on social media or in answers to questions from the Moscow Times.
Several other great Navalny allies have fled from Russia in recent months to evade criminal prosecution amid what Kremlin critics describe as a campaign to root out dissent ahead of the high-stakes parliamentary election next month.
The Interfax source warned that Sobol risked a real prison sentence by leaving due to his two convictions, including a year of community service in April for visit the apartment of a security guard allegedly involved in the poisoning of Navalny.
“No conviction involved serving a sentence in a penal colony,” they said.
“Now that she has violated the restrictions in force, the authorized body can ask the court to replace her sentence with a penal colony. [sentence]. “