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Opposition figure Lyubov Sobol wins petition to ease house arrest

Source: Lyubov Sobol

Despite being under house arrest as a suspect in the so-called sanitary case, opposition figure and Navalny aide Lyubov Sobol is now permitted to attend church and take her daughter to school.

The defendants in the “sanitary case” stand accused of calling for participation in unauthorized demonstrations in support of jailed opposition politician Alexey Navalny in the winter of 2021. According to the authorities, the defendants effectively incited people to violate the sanitary and epidemiological measures put in place amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In addition to Lyubov Sobol, the other suspects in the case are Doctors’ Alliance Chairwoman Anastasia Vasilieva, Pussy Riot activist Maria Alyokhina, Navalny’s brother Oleg Navalny, Navalny staffers Oleg Stepanov and Nikolay Lyaskin, Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh, and municipal deputies Lyusya Shtein and Dmitry Baranovsky. They have all been under house arrest since late January.

According to an Instagram post published on Sobol’s behalf on Friday, March 26, these permissions came after investigators partially satisfied a petition from Sobol and her lawyers.

“We’re glad that Lyubov and her lawyer, Vladimir Voronin, won the right to take Miroslava, Lyubov’s child, to school and pick her up from school, as well as to visit church. For two months in a row, Lyubov was limited in this, the investigators refused written petitions. This week, Lyubov’s petition was partially granted.”

At the same time, the investigator refused to give Sobol permission to take walks near her home during the day and use the Internet. According to the post on Instagram, Sobol asked for permission to visit the websites of government agencies in order to pay the fines imposed on her following the protests in support of Alexey Navalny earlier this year.

Lyubov Sobol was placed under house arrest in the “sanitary case” on January 29. On March 19, the court extended the term of her house arrest until June 23.

Prior to Sobol’s hearing, her lawyer, Vladimir Voronin, said that in the event that her house arrest was extended, his client had no intention of complying with “this delusional measure of restraint until the very end.”

On March 21, Sobol went to church in violation of the terms of her house arrest. Voronin said that this could lead to her being transferred to a remand prison, though the charge she is facing doesn’t imply this a measure of restraint.

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