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Moscow prosecutors suspend the work of Navalny’s political movement pending court ruling

Source: Mediazona

The Moscow Prosecutor’s Office has suspended the activities of Alexey Navalny’s political network, pending a ruling from the municipal court on a lawsuit seeking to declare it an “extremist organization.”

Team 29 lawyer Ivan Pavlov, who represents the interests of Navalny’s organizations, told Mediazona about the suspension on Monday, April 26.

Ivan Zhdanov, the director of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (the FBK) — which is also a target of the same lawsuit — posted a copy of the prosecutors’ decision on Twitter. 

Zhdanov claimed that the FBK would also have to stop its work. However, spokespeople for the Moscow City Court told Interfax that while municipal prosecutors had filed a claim on halting some of the activities of Navalny’s FBK and the Citizens’ Rights Protection Foundation, it has yet to be considered by the court.

The claim from the Moscow Prosecutor’s Office, which was published on Telegram by Navalny’s chief of staff Leonid Volkov, asks the court to ban the FBK and the Citizens’ Rights Protection Foundation from posting materials online, holding public events, and participating in elections and referendums. 

Update. Team Navalny offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Yekaterinburg have already announced that they are halting their activities. “Unfortunately, we can no longer work in the same format. It’s dangerous for our employees and our supporters,” their statement says. Leonid Volkov also confirmed to Open Media that the political movement is suspending its work.

On April 16, the Moscow Prosecutor’s Office filed a lawsuit seeking to designate the FBK, the Citizens’ Rights Protection Foundation (both of which Russia’s Justice Ministry has already designated as “foreign agents”), and Navalny’s nationwide network of campaign offices as extremist organizations. 

On April 20, the Moscow City Court announced that the trial would take place behind closed doors, because the case materials had been classified. The pre-trial proceedings began on April 26.

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