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Russia: Moscow court set to disband pro-Navalny organizations

Members of "extremist" groups are barred from running for office.

Members of "extremist" groups are barred from running for office.

The Moscow City Court on Wednesday was considering a request by prosecutors to disband organizations linked to jailed Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny Wednesday.

Moscow's chief prosecutor accuses Navalny and his allies of attempting to destabilize Russia socially and politically.

How is the Russian state targeting Navalny's organizations?

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.

The prosecutor's office in Moscow is specifically targeting Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation which Navalny has used to publish numerous slickly produced video investigations into corruption involving senior officials in the Russian government.

Putin signed legislation into law last week on Navalny's 45th birthday that bars members of "extremist" groups from running for office. Once the "extremist" label is affixed to Navalny's political organization, his allies would also be barred from running for office.

How have Navalny's allies reacted to the anticipated "extremist" label?

While Navalny and his colleagues deny they are revolutionary extremists, they are prepared for the Russian government to label them as such.

Several of the local campaign office groups where Navalny's allies have mobilized to organize protests against Putin's more than twenty-year rule have disbanded on their own.

Navalny attorney Ivan Pavlov said he expects the ruling today.

Navalny spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh wrote on Twitter the text of the lawsuit says, "a change of power is extremism. Officially."

ar/aw (AP,Reuters)

Updated : 2021-06-22 16:48 GMT+08:00