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Navalny's organizations outlawed in Russia

Navalny's organizations outlawed in Russia
© Getty

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s organizations were outlawed by a court in Moscow on Wednesday.

Navalny’s Foundation for Fighting Corruption and its other offices are now labeled as extremists organizations in a move that will not allow anyone associated with the organizations to run for office, The Associated Press reported.

Along with not being allowed to run for office, anyone associated with the organizations, including working for, donating to or sharing information from the groups, are in danger of facing criminal charges, according to AP.

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Russia has recently gone after other high-profile critics of the government as well, and arrested opposition politician Dmitry Gudkov.

The recent moves by the government come before a parliamentary election set to be held this September in Russia.

“Russia has effectively criminalized one of the country’s few remaining independent political movements,” U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said after the verdict. 

“The Russian people, like all people, have the right to speak freely, form peaceful associations to common ends, exercise religious freedom, and have their voices heard through free and fair elections,” Price added.

Navalny’s team also denounced the decision by the court. Navalny’s lawyers said they will appeal the decision.

“When corruption is the foundation of the government, fighters against corruption are cast as extremists,” a statement on Navalny’s Instagram account says. “We will not abandon our goals and ideas. It’s our country and we don’t have another one.”

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Navalny’s organizations work to release information about the Russian government. The prosecutors in the case argued they are trying to overthrow the Russian government.

“This case has been linked to the law that bans all those who are connected with the Foundation for Fighting Corruption from getting elected,” Lawyer Yevgeny Smirnov said during the hearing that took place behind closed doors, according to AP.

Navalny recently lost a bid in court to get guards to stop checking on him every hour of the night while he is in prison saying the lack of sleep amounts to “torture.”

He is in prison due to violating his parole requirements while he was in Germany recovering from a poison attack that Navalny says was carried out by the Russian government. Moscow has denied the accusation.

Updated at 8:04 p.m.