The lawyers of the Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalni, have announced that they will appeal the ruling issued on Wednesday by the Moscow Municipal Court declaring “extremists”, and therefore illegal, to the Anti-Corruption Fund (FBK), to the regional headquarters linked to the Russian politician, currently in prison, and the Movement for the Defense of Citizen Rights. The trial hearing lasted over twelve and a half hours and took place behind closed doors.
At the request of the prosecutor, the judge ordered that all the structures created by Navalni be dissolved immediately. Nor will they be able to present candidates for elections at any level, including the legislative ones scheduled for September. But the opposition leader has promised through Instagram that his followers will continue to participate in political activities and called to continue practicing the “smart vote”, consisting of voting for the formation, whatever it is, that has the best chance of unseating United Russia , the Kremlin party. “When corruption establishes the power of the state, the fighters against corruption are extremists”, laments Navalni.
Through its Twitter account, the FBK announced that it will continue the fight. “Now it turns out that we are a danger to society, but we will continue to fight corruption,” says the organization created by Navalni to unmask the corruption of the Russian elite.
The head of European Diplomacy, Josep Borrell, has released a statement from the member states of the European Union assuring that the decision of the Moscow Municipal Court “constitutes the most serious effort to date to suppress the independent opposition in Russia. and eliminate the political network of the dissident leader. The note highlights the “negative” line adopted by the Russian authorities of “systematic persecution” of Human Rights and freedoms in Russia.
The Twenty-seven consider that the elimination of a force as important as the one led by Navalni has to do with the parliamentary elections in September. According to Borrell, “this ruling will have far-reaching consequences for Russian civil society, the opposition and critical voices.”
The United States has also condemned the judicial action taken against the opposition leader. “We urge Russia to stop abusing definitions of extremism to attack non-violent organizations, to end its repression against Navalni and its supporters and to comply with its international obligations to respect and guarantee Human Rights and freedoms fundamental ”, declared the spokesman of the North American State Department, Ned Price, in a statement. In his words, “Russia has in fact criminalized one of the few remaining independent movements in the country.”
The United Kingdom, for its part, deplored in another press release from Foreign Minister Dominic Raab, the court ruling that leaves Navalni and his followers out of the Russian political scene. In his view, “this is a new Kafkaesque attack against those who oppose corruption and open societies. It is a deliberate attempt to outlaw the real opposition in Russia. ‘