September 29, 2017 / 9:36 AM / Updated an hour ago

Putin critic Navalny says police detain him ahead of pre-election rally

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny speaks during an interview with Reuters in Moscow, Russia, July 12, 2017. Picture taken July 12, 2017. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said on Friday he had been detained by police as he left his Moscow home to attend a pre-election rally in a provincial town.

Russia holds a presidential election in March which incumbent Vladimir Putin is widely expected to contest. Russia’s central election commission has said Navalny is not eligible to run, but he hopes to stand against Putin nonetheless.

Navalny said on social media police had told him they wanted to talk to him about something, but it was not clear what, or whether he would be charged with anything.

Navalny had been due to address a rally in the city of Nizhny Novgorod later on Friday.

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