Week-ending 28 May 2021
This week three new charges were laid against Aleksei Navalny, recognised by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience 1) for theft of donations to the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK); 2) for ‘encouraging’ citizens not to perform civic duties; and 3) for insulting a judge. On Wednesday a court started hearing via video link Navalny’s complaints about conditions at the penal colony where he is held.
RFE/RL, 25 May 2021: Jailed Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny says three new criminal cases have been initiated against him. Navalny said in a May 25 post on Instagram that he learned about the cases from an investigator who visited him in prison the day before. He said one case accused him of “stealing” donations to his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), while a second case “accuses me of encouraging citizens to refuse to perform their civic duties.” The third case against the 44-year-old Kremlin critic is for insulting a judge.
The Moscow Times, 26 May 2021: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny appeared in court via video link Wednesday for the start of hearings into complaints against conditions at his penal colony. Navalny, 44, was jailed in February and is serving two-and-a-half years at a facility outside Moscow on old fraud charges he says are politically motivated. His detention, which came months after he survived a near-fatal poisoning attack, was met with sharp condemnation from Western countries which slapped fresh sanctions on the Kremlin in response. The complaints heard Wednesday center around Navalny’s claims that prison authorities are refusing to provide him with books sent to him by relatives, including the Quran, and that they are censoring newspapers he receives.