Alexei Navalny seems in courtroom as anti-corruption community is compelled to shutter

Jailed Russian opposition chief Alexei Navalny appeared at a courtroom listening to through video hyperlink for the primary time since ending his starvation strike, as a high ally introduced Navalny’s anti-corruption community can be compelled to dissolve amid an effort by Russian prosecutors to label it as “extremist.”

Why it issues: The Kremlin’s crackdown on the nation’s most distinguished Putin critic is intensifying.

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Driving the information: “I used to be taken to a bathhouse yesterday … there was a mirror there. I checked out myself — I’m only a horrible skeleton,” Navalny stated in courtroom, one week after ending a starvation strike that he launched to protest an absence of medical therapy by jail authorities.

  • The enchantment listening to was associated to a defamation sentence he obtained in January for allegedly insulting a World Battle II veteran. Navalny is at present jailed for violating his parole whereas recovering in Germany from an assassination try, and has condemned each instances as politically motivated.

  • A gaunt-looking Navalny continued to crack jokes in courtroom, as he’s recognized to do, and requested to see his spouse, Yulia. “I haven’t weighed this a lot because the seventh grade,” he informed her.

  • Turning his consideration to the decide, Navalny accused the Kremlin of turning “Russians into slaves” and referred to as President Vladimir Putin a “bare king,” earlier than having his enchantment summarily rejected, in line with The Guardian.

The massive image: Hours earlier, a high official with Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Basis introduced that its regional workplaces can be dismantled, after a petition by prosecutors to label the community as “extremist” raised the potential of terrorism fees in opposition to its members.

  • Amnesty Worldwide has stated that an extremist designation for Navalny’s political and anti-corruption teams would characterize “one of the vital severe blows for the rights to freedom of expression and affiliation in Russia’s post-Soviet historical past.”

  • “The networks of Navalny’s headquarters doesn’t exist anymore, however there are dozens of sturdy and hard regional politicians, hundreds of his supporters, there are sturdy and unbiased political organizations which is able to work on investigations and elections, public campaigns and rallies. You’ll assist them, and they’re going to succeed,” Navalny ally Leonid Volkov wrote on Telegram, per AP.

In the meantime, state media reported {that a} new prison case had been opened in opposition to Navalny, Volkov, and Anti-Corruption Basis director Ivan Zhdanov in reference to the extremist designation.

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