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Putin critic Navalny jailed for 19 more years on 'extremism' charges

by Dinara Khalilova August 5, 2023 12:09 AM 2 min read
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny as shown in a still from the documentary "Navalny," which won the Oscar for best feature documentary at the 2023 Academy Awards on March 12, 2023. (Photo by Navalny Doc/Twitter)
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A Moscow court has sentenced jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny to another 19 years of imprisonment, Russian media reported on Aug. 4.

According to BBC Russia, Russian authorities have convicted Navalny for what they call "creating an extremist community," namely the Anti-Corruption Foundation.

Navalny will serve his time in a "special regime colony," Russia's most restrictive penal institution, which is usually reserved for dangerous criminals.

The trial of the "extremist" case was classified, BBC Russia wrote. It began on June 19 and lasted only a month, with all hearings held behind closed doors. Navalny was charged under seven articles of Russia's Criminal Code.

The verdict announcement on Aug. 4 was broadcasted online, but the sound was so bad that the judge's words were almost incomprehensible, according to the media outlet. It was unclear at first how many additional years Navalny received.

Later, Russian journalist Vasily Polonsky cited Navalny's lawyer, who confirmed the 19 year-sentence, and a post appeared on the politician's social accounts.

"The number (of years) doesn't matter. I understand very well that, like many political prisoners, I am serving a life sentence. Where life is measured by the duration of my life or the life of this regime," Navalny said.

"They want to frighten you, not me, and deprive you of the will to resist. You are being forced to surrender your Russia without a fight to a gang of traitors, thieves, and scoundrels who have seized power. Putin should not achieve his goal. Do not lose the will to resist."

The European Union, the U.S., and the U.K. criticized the court's sentence as politically motivated and demanded the immediate release of Navalny.

Navalny was poisoned with the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok in August 2020, a move which is confirmed to have been executed by Moscow. After his recovery, he returned to Moscow, where he was sentenced to a total of 11.5 years in prison.

Navalny urges restoration of 1991 borders, reparation payments to Ukraine by Russia
Jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny’s team issued a statement on Feb. 20 calling for the restoration of Ukraine’s 1991 borders and the payment of reparations by Moscow, independent Russian media outlet Meduza reported.
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