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Russia on Tuesday added the Kremlin’s main opponent, Alexei Navalny, to its list of “terrorists and extremists”, taking another step in a relentless crackdown targeting critical voices in the Kremlin.
Moscow is stepping up the pressure. Russia added Alexei Navalny to its list of “terrorists and extremists” of the Russian financial intelligence service on Tuesday, January 25, according to AFP. In addition to the main opponent of the Kremlin, imprisoned for more than a year, one of his relatives living in exile, Lioubov Sobol, is also included.
According to the Anti-Corruption Fund, the organization of Alexei Navalny, banned in June, and at least nine other people linked to the opponent’s movement have also been added to this list.
This decision is part of a context of all-out repression in Russia against the opposition, the media and civil society deemed critical of the authorities and President Vladimir Putin.
In mid-January, the two main lieutenants of Alexei Navalny, Ivan Jdanov and Leonid Volkov, who live in exile, had also been added to the list of the Russian financial intelligence service, Rosfinmonitoring.
This catalog includes thousands of individuals and hundreds of Islamist, religious and ultra-nationalist organizations banned in Russia. There are, for example, the Taliban and the jihadist group Islamic State.
Alexei Navalny was arrested on January 17, 2021 in Moscow, returning from convalescence in Germany after a serious poisoning in Siberia in August 2020 for which he holds President Putin responsible.
Russia has never opened an investigation into this assassination attempt, claiming to have no clues to this effect, Berlin having never shared the medical analyzes of the most famous opponent of the Kremlin.
Alexei Navalny, a 45-year-old anti-corruption activist, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison on his return to his country for a case of “fraud” which he describes as political.
This condemnation sparked a shower of international criticism and new Western sanctions against Moscow. In support, the European Parliament awarded Alexei Navalny its 2021 Sakharov Prize for the defense of freedom of thought.
Growing pressures on critical media
Despite his imprisonment, the opponent continues to urge his fellow citizens to stand up, regularly posting messages on social networks.
The arrest of Alexeï Navalny had triggered several days of demonstrations a year ago, but they had been brutally repressed. Then, it was his movement that was banned in June for “extremism”.
Alexei Navalny is also the target of new legal proceedings for “extremism”, which could allow him to be kept in prison for many years.
The crackdown on his movement has been followed by growing pressure on media critics of the Kremlin and NGOs, branded all over the place as “foreign agents”, a derogatory label that greatly complicates their work with the threat of serious problems. judicial.
Last December, the NGO Memorial, a pillar of the defense of human rights and a guardian of the memory of the victims of the Gulag, was banned by the Russian courts for not having respected its obligations to ” foreign agent.
This repression is also illustrated on the Internet and Russia is increasingly punishing large digital companies, especially foreign ones, accused of not deleting content linked to the opposition.
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