NewsEuropeprosecuted for "extremism", Navalny risks a new prison sentence

    prosecuted for “extremism”, Navalny risks a new prison sentence

    Sentenced to nine years in prison for “fraud”, Alexei Navalny faces decades in prison in a new trial that begins this Monday, June 19 in Russia. Accused of “extremism” and “rehabilitating Nazi ideology”, the opponent accuses the Kremlin of wanting to keep him in prison for life.

    Alexei Navalny does not end his confrontation with the Russian judicial system. The imprisoned opponent, targeted by the Kremlin, faces tens of years in prison in a new trial for “extremism”. This judicial offensive illustrates the climate of repression in Russia with the war in Ukraine as a backdrop.

    Since the start of the military campaign in Ukraine in February 2022, most of the leading opposition figures who have not fled Russia have been jailed or prosecuted, particularly for speaking out against the conflict.

    Alexei Navalny, known for his investigations against corruption, is already serving a nine-year prison sentence for “fraud”, a sentence he considers political.

    In 2020, the 47-year-old opponent narrowly survived a poisoning incident that he blames on the Kremlin. Jailed since January 2021, he now faces up to 30 years in prison in a new trial on charges of “extremism” and “rehabilitating Nazi ideology.”

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    The opponent has also said he faces a “terrorism” case for which he could be sentenced to life in prison, but few details are known.

    The trial is taking place in the IK-6 high-security penal colony in Melekhovo (Vladimir region, 250 km east of Moscow). The contours of the prosecution are still unclear, as Navalny’s defense has only had 10 days to examine the 196-volume case file.

    “Although it is obvious, judging by the thickness of the volumes, that I am a methodical and diligent criminal, it is impossible to understand precisely what I am accused of,” Navalny recently joked.

    The opposition leader accuses the Kremlin of wanting to keep him in prison for life to make him pay for his criticism, which has not wavered despite his imprisonment. Through his team, Navalny continues to post regularly on social media, denouncing in particular the war in Ukraine.

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    in solitary confinement

    Alexei Navalny “is being tried for his political activity,” his spokesman, Kira Iarmych, told AFP.

    According to her, Monday’s hearing should be open to the public, but the judge could change his mind at the last minute and favor a closed-door trial.

    According to his supporters, Alexei Navalny is being subjected to particularly harsh treatment in prison, where he has lost weight and is held incommunicado on the slightest pretext.

    In a message published at the beginning of June, the opponent stated that he had been sent for the 16th time to a disciplinary cell, where prisoners are alone and face drastic living conditions.

    Alexei Navalny with his wife Yulia.
    Alexei Navalny with his wife Yulia. Alexander Nemenov AFP

    Alexeï Navalny also accused the prison administration of harassing him, for example, letting in a cellmate with a viral infection and a bad smell, or forcing prisoners to listen to speeches by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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    Like Alexei Navalny, most of the known opponents who have not gone into exile have been jailed in recent years, especially since the start of the conflict in Ukraine.

    Among them, Vladimir Kara-Mourza, sentenced in April to 25 years in prison for “high treason”, and Ilia Iachine, sentenced in December to eight and a half years in prison for criticizing the war against Ukraine.

    On the occasion of his 47th birthday, at the beginning of June, Alexeï Navalny declared that he was in a good mood, despite the difficulties of his arrest.

    “Clearly I would not want to wake up in this hole, but rather have breakfast with my family, a kiss on my children’s cheeks, open my presents and say ‘Wow, this is exactly what I’ve been dreaming of,'” she wrote.

    But, he added, a “better future” is only possible “if a certain number of people are willing to pay for the right to have beliefs.”

    with AFP

    This article was adapted from its original in French

    Source: France 24

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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