Week-ending 26 November 2021
Anti-extremism legislation is being used to prosecute peaceful, political opposition activities. In particular, the designating of organisations as ‘extremist’ is used to bring politically motivated prosecutions against persons associated with those organisations even where there is no evidence of what could be called ‘extremism’ on their part. This is the case with Navalny’s organisations that have been banned as extremist. On 24 November Aleksei Navalny was reported as bringing a lawsuit against the penal colony’s move to label him as ‘a person inclined to commit crimes of a terrorist of extremist nature.’ This week Irina Fatyanova, former head of Navalny’s headquarters in St. Petersburg, said she had left Russia after Liliya Chanysheva, the ex-head of the Navalny organisation in Ufa, had been remanded in custody on extremism charges. Sergei Boyko, a member of the Novosibirsk city council and former head of Navalny’s network of regional campaign groups, also said he had left the country for the same reason. On 21 November 2021 Chanysheva was moved from a detention centre in Ufa to one in Moscow. Amnesty International in a statement said ‘Lilia Chanysheva has committed no crime and must be released immediately.’
RFE/RL, 24 November 2021: Jailed Kremlin-critic Aleksei Navalny has filed another lawsuit against Correctional Colony No. 2 in the Vladimir region where he is serving a prison sentence that he and his supporters consider politically motivated. Navalny’s lawyer Vadim Kobzev told the Novaya Gazeta newspaper on November 24 that his client’s lawsuit is against the colony’s decision to label him as “a person inclined to commit crimes of a terrorist or extremist nature.”
The Moscow Times, 24 November 2021: The former head of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s St. Petersburg headquarters said Wednesday she has left Russia, becoming the latest opposition figure to depart the country amid a wide-reaching crackdown on dissent. Irina Fatyanova said she relocated to an unspecified country last week after the jailing of another member of Navalny’s regional political network, Liliya Chanysheva, on retroactive extremism charges.
RFE/RL, 26 November 2021: Another associate of jailed Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny is going into exile amid an ongoing crackdown against the defunct organizations associated with the Kremlin critic that were labeled extremist earlier this year. Sergei Boyko is a member of the Novosibirsk city council and former head of Navalny’s network of regional campaign groups in the Siberian city until a court labeled it extremist this year, effectively outlawing it.
RFE/RL, 22 November 2021: The arrested former leader of a regional organization for jailed opposition activist Aleksei Navalny in Russia’s Bashkortostan has been transferred to a detention center in the Moscow region. The lawyer for Lilia Chanysheva told RFE/RL that he was unable to meet with his client in a detention center in Bashkortostan’s capital, Ufa, on November 22 because of the move.
Amnesty International, 23 November 2021: On 17 November a court upheld on appeal the pretrial detention of activist Lilia Chanysheva, and she was transferred out of her hometown of Ufa on 21 November. She will be held in Moscow, almost 1,500 km away. Lilia Chanysheva has been detained since 9 November on politically motivated charges of “establishing or leading an extremist association”, for her role as former regional coordinator of “Navalny’s headquarters”. She faces up to 10 years in prison. Lilia Chanysheva has committed no crime and must be released immediately.