56 views 4 mins 0 comments

Russia jails Alexei Navalny’s ally for nine years over ‘extremism’

In World
December 29, 2023

A Russian court on Friday sentenced Ksenia Fadeyeva, who led jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s now-banned organisation in the Siberian city of Tomsk, to almost a decade in prison, her supporters said.

This is the latest in a string of heavy sentences against Russia’s opposition, with the Kremlin doubling down on the repression of civil society since launching a military operation in Ukraine last year.

“The ‘judge’ Khudyakov has ordered a nine-year sentence against Ksenia Fadeyeva” for extremism, her supporters’ Telegram channel said, adding the defence would appeal.

Lawyers and supporters denounced the trial as a sham.

“What happened in this trial has nothing to do with justice,” lawyer Semyon Vodnev said in a video posted by SOTA media, adding the defence had been “bullied”.

02:36

Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny disappears from prison, aides say

Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny disappears from prison, aides say

Vodnev called the verdict “illegal, baseless and unfair” but said he needed to refrain from speaking his mind, otherwise “I will probably find myself on the same bench as Ksenia.”

Fadeyeva, 31, headed Navalny’s political office in Tomsk, where the opposition leader was poisoned in August 2020 on a visit ahead of elections.

Fadeyeva was elected to the Tomsk city legislature in 2020, a move hailed as a victory for the Russian opposition against President Vladimir Putin’s rule.

But authorities labelled the group an “extremist organisation” in 2021, which opened up its members and supporters to prosecution.

Many of Navalny’s allies left, but Fadeyeva refused to flee and was detained in December 2021 on charges of organising “an extremist” group.

“Ksenia did not commit any crime, she is a brave politician who has been fighting against Putin’s corrupt regime,” the Anti-Corruption Foundation said in reaction to the verdict.

Ksenia Fadeyeva sets up her campaign tent in Tomsk in 2020. Fadeyeva was elected to the Tomsk city legislature in 2020, a move hailed as a victory for the Russian opposition against President Vladimir Putin’s rule. Photo: AFP

Moscow has used laws on “terrorist” and “extremist” bodies to hand out years-long jail sentences to critics, including Navalny himself.

Navalny galvanised huge nationwide protests in Russia before he was jailed in 2021 on fraud charges after returning from Germany, where he was recovering from the poison attack.

He saw his sentence extended to 19 years on charges of extremism in 2023, and was recently transferred to a harsher colony in Russia’s Arctic.

Several regional heads of the Anti-Corruption Foundation have been jailed.

Among them was Lilia Chanysheva, Navalny’s ally in the central Bashkortostan Republic, who was handed seven and a half years in prison this summer.

Vadim Ostanin, the head of Navalny’s office in Barnaul, was imprisoned for nine years on “extremism” charges.

EMEA Tribune is not involved in this news article, it is taken from our partners and or from the News Agencies. Copyright and Credit go to the News Agencies, email [email protected] Follow our WhatsApp verified Channel210520-twitter-verified-cs-70cdee.jpg (1500×750)

Support Independent Journalism with a donation (Paypal, BTC, USDT, ETH)
whatsapp channel
Avatar
/ Published posts: 45296

The latest news from the News Agencies