A new trial against the well-known Russian oppositionist Alexei Navalny has started in the penal colony in Melyekhiv (Vladimir region). The authorities accuse the critic of the Kremlin of “extremism”, which is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
The first court hearing under the new trial began on Monday in penal colony No. 6 in Mieliechowo, where Navalny is serving a nine-year sentence, the independent Meduza portal reported.
The oppositionist, one of Putin’s most vocal critics, is accused of creating an “extremist community”, “calls for extremism”, “creating an NGO that threatens the rights of citizens”, “financing extremism”, “drawing minors into dangerous activities” and “rehabilitating Nazism” “.
Navalny faces up to 30 years in prison.
Parents and journalists stayed outside the door
Neither journalists nor Navalny’s parents were allowed into the courtroom, although the oppositionist asked for it, Meduza reported. The reporters were placed in a separate room where they had access to the broadcast of the trial. However, it was of poor quality and journalists were unable to understand what was being said in the meeting room, the independent Mediazona portal reported. He later reported that the broadcast had been turned off at some point.
Navalny’s spokeswoman, Kira Jarmysh, tweeted that “during the last trial, Alexei was disabled when he said the word war.” “This time, apparently, he will not have to do it – he just can’t hear anything now,” Jarmysz announced.
Navalny has been behind bars since 2021. He has been stopped after returning to Russia from Germanywhere he was treated after an attempted poisoning, which he accused the Kremlin and the Federal Security Service of. Subsequently, the court suspended Navalny’s former prison sentence for alleged financial embezzlement. In March 2022, the politician received another sentence – nine years in a high-security penal colony based on accusations of embezzlement and contempt of court.
The oppositionist is currently in a penal colony in Mieliechowo, about 250 kilometers east of Moscow.
As the Reuters agency reminds, the repression of the organization led by Navalny, as part of the actions against the Russian opposition, began long before war in Ukraine, and after it began, intensified. One of his regional associates was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison last week.
Main photo source: Reuters