Moscow (dpa) – According to his team and his lawyers, the organizations of the Kremlin’s adversary, who are detained in the prison camp, are no longer allowed to operate.
A court in Moscow had imposed the work ban, Navalny lawyer Ivan Pavlov, who represents the organizations, said in Moscow on Monday. The ban will apply until a decision is made by the Moscow prosecutor’s office to classify the organizations as extremist in order to ban them permanently. Lawyer Vladimir Voronin criticized the court for ruling without hearing the parties.
The German government condemned the actions of the Russian judiciary. “The use of counterterrorism measures against politically unpleasant opinions is in no way compatible with the rule of law,” said government spokesman Steffen Seibert in Berlin on Monday. He reiterated the demand for the release of opposition member Navalny, who must also receive adequate medical care and have access to doctors he trusts.
On Monday, a trial began in the Moscow court following a request from the Moscow Public Prosecutor’s Office, and Navalny’s organizations, including the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) and its regional staff, were classified as extremist and banned. Navalny’s confidante Leonid Volkov stated that the court had paralyzed individual FBK activities. The foundation itself has not yet been banned. He complained that the judiciary was preventing the fight against corruption, peaceful street protests and preparations for the parliamentary elections in the autumn.
A court spokeswoman stressed that the allegations of extremism had not been decided. According to Nawalny’s team, the prosecutor’s office had previously arbitrarily and without judicial decision banned Nawalny’s regional staff from working. Judge Vyacheslav Polyga confirmed this, lawyer Pavlov said.
“This is very, very bad news for everyone in Russia,” said Volkov. The work of the opposition is criminalized in a “shameful secret trial” and with arbitrariness of justice. “There is no such thing as extremism,” he said.
However, the prosecutor’s office announced that the Navalny movement “destabilizes the socio-political situation in the country”. She calls for “extremist activities, mass unrest – including attempts to involve minors in illegal acts”. The organizations are accused of acting “on behalf of various foreign centers carrying out destructive actions against Russia”. The alleged goal: a revolution to overthrow President Vladimir Putin’s power apparatus.
According to Volkov, the opposition work should continue despite the pressure. An “action plan” will be drawn up and presented shortly. He had previously said the authorities would freeze the accounts, seal the property “and make our offline work in Russia completely impossible”.
Leading figures from abroad such as Volkov, Schadnow and Maria Pevchikh (Pevchikh) can continue to work and publish the popular videos with exposures of corruption in the Russian power apparatus on the internet. From there, calls are still going out to the Russian population, not just for protests. Above all, citizens are called upon to vote for alternative candidates in the elections to the State Duma in the fall – only not for those of the Kremlin party, United Russia.
The “smart vote” is intended to break the party’s monopoly of power in the Kremlin. In doing so, the Nawalnys team has had past success in elections by making recommendations on who should be elected to prevent the Kremlin candidate. The method is controversial because it could also support communists or right-wing populists.
In addition, the fight for Navalny’s release must continue, Volkov said. He described it as a result of political pressure that Navalny was now under investigation by civilian doctors in custody. In addition, doctors he trusted had access to the medical examination results. The Kremlin has thus entered into a “strange form of public compromise”. “I think that’s a good result.”
Navalny then announced that he would end his three-week hunger strike. He began to seek treatment from independent specialists for back disease and limb paralysis. The demand still exists, it was said. According to Volkov, Navalny is housed in an infirmary in the IK-3 prison camp in Vladimir, not far from Moscow, according to the latest findings. Navalny thanked for international solidarity.