The Moscow City Court on Wednesday decided to disband organizations linked to jailed Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny Wednesday. Moscow’s chief prosecutor had accused Navalny and his allies of attempting to destabilize Russia socially and politically.
It marks the latest move in a campaign to silence dissent and bar Kremlin critics from running for parliament in September. The court decision stops people associated with Navalny’s Foundation for Fighting Corruption and his sprawling regional network from seeking public office. Many of Navalny’s allies had hoped to run for parliamentary seats in the September 19 election.
By labeling Navalny’s network “extremist,” the Russian state is using a tactic previously used to dismantle certain far-right and Islamist groups within the country as well as the Jehovah’s witnesses. The move grants the Russian state formal power to jail activists and freeze their bank accounts.
In preparation for the ruling, his associates have broken up their organizations.
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