Russian justice suspends the activity of organizations linked to the opponent

Russian justice ordered, Monday April 26, the temporary stop of the activities of the organizations linked to the opponent Alexeï Navalny, indicated the collaborators of this one.

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Mr. Navalny’s Moscow HQ explained, in a Telegram message, “No longer being able to work in the old format” as a result of this decision. “It would be too dangerous for our employees and for our supporters”, he added, while promising that he “To continue, in a personal capacity, to fight against corruption”, the ruling party, United Russia, and President Vladimir Putin. “It will not be easy to fight, but we will absolutely win, because there are many of us and we are strong. “

Berlin reacted to the announcement of Russian justice: “The use of instruments intended to fight terrorism against politically undesirable opinions” is “Incompatible with the principles of the rule of law”, denounced Angela Merkel’s government spokesperson Steffen Seibert at a press conference.

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Heavy prison sentences

The Russian prosecution asked, in mid-April, to qualify the organizations linked to Alexeï Navalny as“Extremists”, which would ban them in the country and would, moreover, incur heavy prison sentences for the collaborators and supporters of the opponent.

According to the prosecution, these organizations seek to “Create the conditions for the destabilization of the social and socio-political situation” in Russia, “Under cover of liberal slogans”. “The real objectives of their activities are to create the conditions for a change in the foundations of the constitutional order, including using the scenario of the color revolution, an allusion to political upheavals in other former Soviet republics, he estimated on April 16.

The term“Extremism” has a very broad meaning in Russian law, allowing the authorities to fight both opposition organizations, racist or terrorist groups or even religious movements such as Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Mr. Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Fund (FBK) carried out its most notable investigation in January, accusing Vladimir Putin of being the beneficiary of an opulent “Palace” on the shores of the Black Sea. The video has been viewed over 116 million times on YouTube and had forced the Russian president to deny the allegation in person.

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In early April, a Russian court sentenced to two years in prison a collaborator of Mr. Navalny employed by the FBK, Pavel Zelensky, for the publication of two tweets criticizing with virulence the authorities, on trial. “Extremists”.

The premises of Mr. Navalny’s organizations and the homes of his collaborators have been the subject of searches on several occasions in recent years, the opposition denouncing a judicial harassment intended to silence him.

The prosecution accuses these organizations of seeking to “Create the conditions for the destabilization of the social and socio-political situation” in Russia, “Under cover of liberal slogans”. This request must be further examined by the courts, which held a first preliminary hearing in this case on Monday.

Anti-corruption activist and sworn enemy of the Kremlin, Alexeï Navalny is imprisoned in a penal colony for an old case of fraud that he denounces as a political one. He ended a twenty-four-day hunger strike on Friday to protest against his poor conditions of detention, in the face of his worsening state of health.

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The World with AFP