Russian agency designates Navalny’s network as ‘terrorist, extremist’ organization
Russia's financial monitoring agency has designated opposition figure Alexei Navalny's network of regional offices as a "terrorist and extremist" organization.
Rosfinmonitoring said on Friday that it had added Navalny’s political network to its database of terrorist and extremist organizations.
The head of the political network, Leonid Volkov, had said on Thursday that it was disbanding.
“We are officially disbanding Navalny’s network,” Volkov said in a video posted on social media, adding that a number of the offices, however, would continue their activities as what he called independent political organizations.
The network’s decision came after prosecutors requested that the “extremism” label be applied to Navalny’s regional network and his so-called Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), equating them with the Daesh and al-Qaeda terrorist groups.
“Under the guise of liberal slogans, these organizations are engaged in creating conditions for the destabilization of the social and sociopolitical situation,” the Moscow prosecutor’s office said in a statement on April 16.
A court in Moscow on Thursday held a hearing into the request. If approved, the activities of the groups will be prohibited and their members and supporters may face lengthy prison sentences.
The hearings are set to resume on May 17.
Navalny is already serving a prison sentence. In early February, the Moscow City Court sentenced him to two years and eight months in a prison colony for breaking the terms of his suspended sentence by leaving the country for alleged treatment for poisoning.