It was an overcast afternoon in northern Moscow on April 10, and a crowd was gathering outside the jail where Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition leader, was finishing yet another stint behind bars. The crowd, mostly opposition activists and journalists, was expecting to hear a fiery speech from Navalny, a 40-year-old anti-corruption activist.
But there would be no speeches that afternoon. In an apparent attempt to prevent Navalny from addressing the media, Russian authorities had secretly transferred him to a different jail some 10 miles away and released him there. He was forced to make his way home alone on the metro.