Moscow, Jun 14 (EFE).- A Russian court on Wednesday sentenced Lilia Chanysheva, an associate of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, to seven and a half years in prison for extremism.
The ruling was made by a court in Ufa, the capital of the southwestern Russian Republic of Bashkortostan, Russian independent news outlet Mediazona reported.
Chanysheva, a former coordinator of one of Navalny’s regional headquarters in Bashkortostan, was detained in November 2021.
The opposition member was found guilty of creating an extremist organization and a non-governmental organization that violates people’s rights.
The 41-year-old, whose case was held behind closed doors, pleaded not guilty and denounced the ruling as politically motivated.
“My criminal case is political. That is why I do not think of myself as someone on trial for committing a crime. I am a politician, a woman who is being persecuted by men who are her opponents. Their names are Vladimir Putin and (the head of the Bashkortostan Republic) Radiy Khabirov,” Chanysheva said in her final statement to the court on May 29, as translated by the Moscow Times.
The activist was the first opposition member to be arrested under a case brought against Navalny and his associates after his organizations were outlawed in 2021.
In 2022 Chanisheva was included on an official list of people linked to extremism and terrorism.
Navalny is currently serving an eight-year prison sentence on charges of fraud and contempt and faces another sentence of up to 30 years for a new case on extremism charges. EFE