Russian court mulls motion to outlaw Navalny’s organisations

Russian court mulls motion to outlaw Navalny’s organisations

Moscow, June 9

A Russian court on Wednesday began considering a request to declare organisations linked to jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny “extremist”, a move that if approved would ban his allies from a parliamentary election later this year too.

The case, the latest chapter in a long-running crackdown on President Vladimir Putin's fiercest domestic opponent, could deliver a final hammer blow to a vast political network that Navalny has built over years to try to challenge the veteran Russian leader's grip on power.

The case is being brought by the office of Moscow's top prosecutor who has accused Navalny and his allies of trying to foment a revolution by seeking to destabilise the socio-political situation inside Russia with their activity.

The legal offensive mirrors ones waged in the past against far-right groups, Islamist organisations and the Jehovah's Witnesses which were declared "extremist" by courts and banned.

Navalny and his allies have denied the prosecutor's allegations, casting them as an attempt to try to crush their political opposition to the ruling United Russia party ahead of parliamentary elections in September.

The prosecutor's request, if approved by the court, would formally end the activity of a network of groups set up by Navalny. — Reuters

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