Sat 17 April 2021:
State prosecutors in Russia have asked a court to label groups linked to jailed opposition leader Alexey Navalny as “extremist organisations”, a move that would ban them and expose activists to long prison terms.
Friday’s move, if approved, would mark one of the most serious steps taken by authorities yet to target the network of groups set up by the staunch critic of President Vladimir Putin who is on a hunger strike as he serves a two and a half year jail term.
People caught organising the activity of such groups can be jailed for up to 10 years, people taking part in them can be held criminally liable and the groups themselves are prohibited from any kind of banking activity
The Moscow state prosecutor said it had decided to appeal to the court after studying Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation and campaign groups that he has built up in regions across the country.
“Under the guise of liberal slogans, these organisations are engaged in forming the conditions to destabilise the social and social-political situation,” the prosecutor said in a statement.
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‘TAKE A CLEAR STANCE’:
TURKEY RALLIES MUSLIM NATIONS
OVER ISRAEL-HAMAS CONFLICT
YEMEN’S HOUTHIS ATTACK
SAUDI TARGETS WITH BALLISTIC
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MAJOR EUROPEAN AIRLINES
HALT ISRAEL FLIGHTS AS CRISIS
WITH PALESTINE MOUNTS
ETHIOPIAN MUSLIMS HOST
LARGEST IFTAR GATHERING
PARTIES IN NEPAL STRUGGLE
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AS DEADLINE NEARS
NEW ROYAL MAIL STAMPS
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AVENGERS STAR DEMANDS
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VIOLENCE HOTLINES HAVE
INCREASE 20% MORE
The 44-year-old, who was barred from standing for election against Putin in 2018, was jailed in February for parole violations he said were trumped up.
Navalny was arrested at the border as he returned to Russia from Germany where he had been recovering from poisoning by a nerve agent.
Most of his most prominent allies are either abroad or in Russia facing charges for violations relating to a series of demonstrations that were staged to protest against his jailing.
Separately on Friday, a court sentenced a cameraman who worked for Navalny’s team of activists to two years in jail for inciting “extremism”.
Navalny’s allies promised to carry on their work.
“Putin has just announced full-scale mass political repression in Russia,” key aide and head of Navalny’s regional network Leonid Volkov wrote on Twitter shortly after the announcement from prosecutors.
In a statement on Facebook, Volkov and FBK director Ivan Zhdanov said they had no doubts about the ruling that a “Putin’s court” would make but said they will continue their work “peacefully, publicly and effectively”.
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