Person of the Week: Ilya Yashin steps down as chair of local assembly as a result of pressure from the authorities

Week-ending 16 July 2021

Photo: Facebook

On 12 July 2021 Moscow opposition municipal deputy Ilya Yashin said he was stepping down as chair of the municipal assembly on account of pressure from the authorities. Yashin believes he is being targeted because of his support for Aleksei Navalny. A month ago election officials ruled that he was ineligible to take part in the Moscow City Duma ballot because of the recently adopted law barring anyone affiliated with ‘extremist’ organisations from standing for election to public office.


The Moscow Times, 12 July 2021: Moscow opposition municipal deputy Ilya Yashin said Monday he is stepping down as chairman of a local assembly over state pressure he attributes to his support for jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. Yashin’s announcement comes less than a month after election officials removed him from the Moscow City Duma ballot, citing a new law that bars anyone affiliated with “extremist” organizations from running for public office. Russia banned Navalny’s activist and political networks as “extremist” in June, banning their activities and putting members at risk of imprisonment.

RFE/RL, 12 July 2021: Russian opposition politician Ilya Yashin has announced he is quitting as head of Moscow’s Krasnoselsky district amid ongoing pressure on him and his team after saying he would run in upcoming parliamentary elections. Yashin wrote on Facebook on July 12 that he made the decision after he was barred from running in the elections and because of politically motivated pressure imposed on him and his associates. “The prosecutor’s office has shaken our accountant and the team with endless inspections. Our employees spend a significant part of their work time answering queries from law enforcement,” said Yashin, who has led the Krasnoselsky district of the Russian capital since 2017.

In other news:

RFE/RL: Mikhail Alfyorov, an opposition blogger in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, has been charged with inciting hatred and discord over his video about the arrest of opposition politician Aleksei Navalny in Moscow on his arrival from Germany in January. On July 11, Alfyorov’s mother, Lyudmila Alfyorova, told the OVD-Info group that monitors arrests and trials of rights defenders and opposition activists that her son was detained on July 5 and spent four days in pretrial detention. On July 9, a court in Kemerovo transferred the blogger to house arrest until September 1.

RFE/RL, 14 July 2021: An activist has been jailed for walking around Moscow’s Red Square wearing a T-shirt demanding Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny’s release from prison. A Moscow court on July 14 sentenced Vladislav Kazakov to 10 days in jail for violating laws on holding a public event. Kazakov was detained in Red Square the day before while wearing a T-shirt with the inscription “Freedom for Navalny.”

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