After a session of more than twelve hours behind closed doors, a Moscow court called the organizations led by Russian opposition Alexei Navalny “extremists” and then banned them this Wednesday night. This was possible since last week, the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, made official before the law that any member of “extremist” organizations would be disqualified from participating in the elections.
Navalny’s organizations were accused by prosecutors of organizing protests to overthrow the Government, which the opponent condemned through his Instagram account: “When corruption is the basis of the Government, anti-corruption fighters are classified as extremists” . “We will not abandon our goals and ideas. It is our country and we have no other ”.
Navalny partner Ivan Zhdanov promised that “the Navalny team will not stop their activities, they should not expect that,” in an interview for the independent channel Dozhd TV. Likewise, the lawyer Yevgeny Smirnov assured that they will appeal the ruling.
On the other hand, the US State Department strongly disagreed with the case: “Russia has effectively criminalized one of the few independent political movements left in the country.” To which his spokesman, Ned Price, added: “The Russian people, like all people, have the right to speak freely, form peaceful associations for common purposes, exercise religious freedom and make their voice heard in free and fair elections. “.
However, another bill seeks to sharpen the sentence for members of “undesirable” organizations with penalties of up to six years in prison.
Navalny, the great political rival of Vladimir Putin
Navalny was arrested in January, and sentenced to prison in February for two and a half years “for violating the terms of a suspended sentence of a 2014 embezzlement conviction.”
The Navalny Anti-Corruption Foundation has persecuted senior government officials for 10 years. In one of the videos they have posted, they claim that, under a corruption scheme, a luxurious palace was built on the shores of the Black Sea for Putin, but the Kremlin has denied the link.
Сегодня ночью суд в Москве признал ФБК и сеть штабов Навального экстремистскими организациями.
Но какая разница, как мы называемся? От своих целей мы не отступим. А вы оставайтесь, пожалуйста, с нами https://t.co/P9YtNaujOS
– Alexey Navalny (@navalny) June 9, 2021
Pivovarov and Gudkov, other opponents, were also arrested
Andrei Pivovarov, head of another anti-Kremlin group, was arrested last week, despite the fact that, days before, he had announced the dissolution of his Open Russia movement. This party was financed by billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who spent 10 years in prison for “defying the Putin government.”
Another opposition activist, Dmitry Gudkov, was detained for two days last week on financial charges, which, according to him and his supporters, “were fabricated.” Upon his release, he had to leave the country, otherwise he would have been threatened with jail time.
The power exercised by Vladimir Putin during the last 20 years has been the subject of criticism from various sectors of the opposition, which have increasingly been marginalized from the political landscape. Putin is assured of his term until 2024 and from there he could run for two more re-elections until 2036.
With AP and EFE