The Russian authorities will again indict opposition leader Alexeï Navalny. According to the commission of inquiry, according to the Russian FBI, Navalny was guilty of human rights violations.
The commission of inquiry accuses Navalny and his colleagues of having created a non-commercial organization which “harms the personality of citizens and violates their rights”. The organization in question is the now banned Navalny Anti-Corruption Fund (FBK).
In the eyes of investigators, the FBK knowingly seduced citizens into illegal acts by calling them to participate in unauthorized demonstrations. In particular, the committee accuses Navalny, FKB director Ivan Zhdanov and chief of staff Leonid Volkov of making internet appeals among their supporters in January this year to take them to the streets en masse.
If convicted, the trio face up to three years in prison. The BOI opened the case in February, shortly after Navalny returned from Germany, where he was being treated for Russian nerve agent poisoning novichok on a Russian domestic flight a year ago.
On his return in mid-January, the police arrested the critic of the Kremlin directly at Moscow airport. Due to his forced stay in Germany, he allegedly violated the obligation to report a suspended prison sentence pronounced at the end of 2014.
The criminal case is widely seen as politically motivated and the European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2018 that the case must be redone. This happened, but Navalny was again given the same sentence on the basis of an identical sentence.
Due to the violation of the provisions, the judge converted the conditional sentence of 3.5 years into an actual sentence in early February, with a deduction of one year. Since then, Navalny has been imprisoned in a penal colony in Pokrov, about 90 kilometers east of Moscow. He went on a hunger strike there in March after prison officials refused medical treatment for his back pain.
After three weeks, Navalny was transferred to the infirmary of nearby Vladimir Prison, where he was examined by independent doctors. He then called off his hunger strike.
In June, the judge called FBK an “extremist organization”, meaning the fund was automatically banned. Employees who continue the activities can face a prison sentence of up to ten years. Volkov and Zhdanov fled Russia. Another close friend of Navalny, Lyubov Sobolj, is also said to have left this week, but she herself has not (yet) confirmed this.
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