A new charge against Alexei Navalny could result in the Russian opponent being sentenced to another three years in prison.
The Russian Investigative Committee responsible for serious crimes said in a statement that Alexei Navalny was accused of founding an organization that “infringed the personality and rights of citizens”. This article in the Penal Code is commonly used against sects.
The Anti-Corruption Foundation, founded by Navalny in 2011, is being targeted. According to the investigative committee, the foundation incited the Russians to break the law and participate in banned demonstrations in January of this year to demand the release of Navalny. The institution has since been banned for being “extremist”.
Navalny is already serving a 2.5-year prison sentence for failing to meet the bail conditions of his 2014 suspended prison sentence. He was arrested in January after returning from Germany, where he was receiving care after being poisoned in Russia. He risks spending an additional three years in prison because of the new indictment.
Supporters of Navalny, who has been a sham leader of the opposition in Russia for years, called the new accusation on Telegram “meaningless”. “No one violates the rights of citizens like Putin himself and all his associates, including the Investigative Committee.”
The Investigative Committee had already announced the opening of a criminal investigation on Tuesday against Leonid Volkov and Ivan Zhdanov, because they raised money for the founding of Navalny. They reside abroad.