Publicado: 26/04/2021

Russia orders Navalny groups to suspend activities

Russia orders Navalny groups to suspend activities

Moscow (AFP) -

Russian prosecutors on Monday suspended the activities of Alexei Navalny's regional offices, in a move his team said would essentially shut down the jailed opposition figure's decade-long movement against President Vladimir Putin.

The order came as a court began considering whether to designate Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) and his regional offices as extremist organisations, putting them on par with the Islamic State group and Al-Qaeda and banning them in Russia.

FBK published screenshots of a decision by the Moscow prosecutor's office ordering Navalny's nationwide network to stop working while the court deliberated the extremist designations.

'This is a huge blow to all of us,' Navalny's team posted on Instagram, saying regional offices would stop operations immediately.

'It would be too dangerous for our employees and for our supporters' to continue working 'as usual', his Moscow office said in a statement.

It promised however that his allies would continue fighting corruption, the ruling United Russia party and Putin 'in a personal capacity'.

Germany swiftly condemned the suspension order, with Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert saying that 'using the instruments of fighting terror against politically undesirable opinions is in no way compatible with the principles of the rule of law'.

- Increasing pressure -

Navalny, Putin's best known critic, has for a decade campaigned against corruption among officials and called on the president to resign.

Prosecutors this month said they requested the extremism label for Navalny's groups because they were destabilising the country and working to alter 'the foundations of the constitutional order'.

If designated as extremist, members of the groups could face lengthy prison sentences if they continue working.

Navalny's allies had already faced routine police searches and arrests for their activism, with pressure building after the Kremlin critic returned to Russia in January from Germany where he had been recovering from a poisoning attack he blames on Putin.

The 44-year-old was arrested on his return and is now serving two-and-a-half years in a penal colony east of Moscow for violating parole terms on old fraud charges he says are politically motivated.

He has complained of conditions that he equates to torture, and a court in the Vladimir region where he is being held told the Interfax news agency Monday that his defence team has filed lawsuits against the penal colony.

It said one demands that officials remove his flight risk classification, which Navalny has said means he is woken up every hour through the night.

The opposition figure says he has also been denied adequate medical treatment for severe back pain and numbness in his limbs. Last week he ended a 24-day hunger strike after he was examined at a civilian hospital.

- Upcoming elections -

Since his return to Russia, most of Navalny's top allies have been placed under house arrest or have left the country, with several announcing publicly they were quitting FBK after prosecutors requested the extremism tag.

Earlier this month, a court jailed FBK cameraman Pavel Zelensky for two years on charges of inciting extremism online. It cited two tweets saying that he hated Putin, among other officials, adding they did not deserve to be alive.

FBK routinely releases investigations into alleged graft by officials at all levels of government, often accompanied by YouTube videos.

The group published its most notable probe after Navalny was arrested, accusing Putin of being gifted a luxurious property on the Black Sea coast.

The report helped spur mass anti-government protests over the winter, supported by Navalny's nationwide network of regional offices.

Those offices also help organise Navalny's Smart Voting elections strategy, which calls for voters to cast ballots for candidates most likely to defeat Kremlin-linked opponents.

Navalny had staked out September's parliamentary poll as his next target, with a poll by the independent Levada Centre last month predicting that deeply unpopular United Russia would win only 21 percent of the vote.

Más en Zeta

Nada de perros

Nada de perros

07 May 2021
Un fiscal dijo que en las investigaciones que realizaron sobre los albergues, no se encontró evidencia sobre comida de perros para los niños. Varias diputadas habían hecho la afirmación. Ahora queda la duda. Perjudicando a la genteLos taxistas que cerraron varias vías en Panamá, Panamá Oeste y P...

Prohibir las armas de asalto en EE.UU.

ZETA, (AMY GOODMAN-DENIS MOYNIHAN).- Las masacres ocurridas recientemente en la ciudad de Boulder, en Colorado, y en el área metropolitana de la ciudad de Atlanta, en Georgia, con un saldo de diez y ocho muertos, respectivamente, son solo dos casos más de la violencia sin sentido con armas de fue...

La justicia no tiene espacios para más desatinos

ZETA, (JEAN PIERRE LEIGNADIER*).-Las próximas dos semanas, este espacio abordará dos deficiencias estructurales que la Cámara de Comercio, Industrias y Agricultura de Panamá (CCIAP) ha planteado por más de dos quinquenios e insistimos deben ser atendidas de manera urgente para enrumbar nuestro de...

Libertad económica y libre empresa

ZETA, (JEAN PIERRE LEIGNADIER*).- Desde su fundación hace 105 años, la Cámara de Comercio, Industrias y Agricultura de Panamá ha tenido como unos de sus pilares la defensa de la libertad económica y la libre empresa como factores indispensables para el progreso sostenido y sostenible del país. E...

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.