Crime & Justice

Russia outlaws Navalny’s political movement by declaring it ‘extremist’

Moscow, Jun 10 (EFE).- Russia outlawed several organizations Wednesday associated with opposition leader Alexei Navalny, including his political movement, declaring them “extremist” and preventing members and followers from holding government jobs, including presidential.

“By court decision, the non-profit organizations Fund to Fight Corruption (FBK) and Fund for the Protection of Citizens’ Rights (FZPG) were liquidated, the activities of the public movement” Navalny offices “were prohibited,” Moscow Municipal Court said.

In a hearing that lasted 12 and a half hours held behind closed doors because it was classified as secret, the judge satisfied the Moscow prosecutor’s Denis Popov’s demand to declare the movement “extremist.”

The Prosecutor’s Office said “the real objectives” of the activities of the Navalny organizations “are to create the conditions to change the foundations of the constitutional order, including through the “color revolution,” alluding to the popular revolts in space. promoted from abroad, according to Moscow.

The Public Ministry said at the hearing that the organizations regularly organized “unauthorized massive actions that often ended in riots” and implicated minors, which created a threat to their life,” in reference to protests supporting Navalny after his incarceration.

The defense now has 10 days to appeal the sentence.

Ivan Pavlov, leader of “Equipo 29” an NGO that participates in the defense of Navalny organizations, said he will reach the European Court of Human Rights.

According to the defense, “adequate evidence of guilt was never presented” in the alleged extremism case.

The sentence came as no surprise to Navalny or his team, given that both the FBK – the scourge of illicit enrichment among senior Russian officials – and the FZPG were already declared “foreign agents” in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

Since then there have been countless arrests of the opposition’s allies, searches of his homes and Navalny offices, criminal cases for alleged fraud and asset freezes.

Russia’s anti-extremism law, first passed 19 years ago and initially directed against terrorism, has been amended several times and is known abroad primarily for the persecution of more than 250 members of Jehovah’s Witnesses. since they were classified as extremists in 2017.

Under this law, employees, as well as those who commit “deliberate actions related to the continuity or renewal” of Navalny’s organizations, face “up to six years in jail,” according to the defense.

The Wednesday sentence has consequences beyond the criminal, since Russian President Vladimir Putin, promulgated a law last week that is already known as the “Anti-FBK Law”.

This law prohibits anyone involved in the activities of organizations considered extremist from running in local and federal elections. EFE


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