Navalny loses appeal of ‘terrorist or extremist’ prison label
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Tuesday lost an appeal to challenge being labeled as “inclined to commit crimes of a terrorist or extremist nature,” The Associated Press reported.
Navalny has been imprisoned since last year for breaking the terms of his parole and for embezzlement, charges that he claims are politically motivated. He has been a top critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin and has condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Authorities at the penitentiary where Navalny is being held first labeled him a flight risk but changed it to “terrorist or extremist” in October, the AP reported. A panel of judges rejected his defense team’s appeal.
“I was worried they would demand that I kissed portraits of Putin and learned quotes by [Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry] Medvedev, but it wasn’t necessary. It is just that my bunk bed now has a label that describes me a terrorist,” Navalny said in an October social media post, according to the AP.
Navalny was arrested last January for breaking his parole terms after returning from Germany, where he sought treatment for poisoning from the nerve agent novichok. Russian security forces acting on orders from the Kremlin allegedly carried out the assassination attempt on Navalny.
He received a 2 1/2 year sentence for the violation and also received a nine-year sentence in March for fraud and contempt of court.
The Russian government has cracked down on allies of Navalny and labeled his organization an “extremist group” before last year’s parliamentary elections, preventing anyone associated with it from running.