Russia outlaws Navalny’s groups
A Moscow court labeled organizations founded by detained opposition leader Alexei Navalny as extremist groups Wednesday. Alexei Zhafyarov, a spokesman for the prosecutors who filed the motion, said the Foundation for Fighting Corruption and its regional network committed extremist acts and spread information that incited enmity against government officials. Lawyers plan to appeal the ruling.
What’s the target of the ruling? The extremist label would prevent Navalny’s allies from running for parliamentary seats in the Sept. 19 election. It also means people who have worked with the organizations, shared the group’s materials, or made donations could face lengthy prison terms. The decision comes one week before President Vladimir Putin and President Joe Biden attend a summit meeting in Geneva. The U.S. State Department condemned the criminalization of “one of the country’s few remaining independent political movements.”
Dig deeper: Read Jenny Lind Schmitt’s WORLD Magazine report on Christians’ response to protests against Putin.
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