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Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny is facing new criminal charges in connection with his foundation.

The Investigative Committee of Russia announced that he is charged with establishing a noncommercial organization that “infringes on people’s rights.” 

The committee alleged Navalny’s foundation, which he has managed with others since 2011, induced citizens to commit “unlawful acts” by urging Russians to participate in unauthorized rallies in January this year.

The charge against him is punishable by up to three years in prison, according to The Associated Press.

Navalny’s allies said on the Telegram messenger app that the accusation was “the latest meaningless charge,” Reuters reported.

“No one infringes on the personality and rights of citizens like [President Vladimir] Putin himself and all his henchmen, including the Investigative Committee,” his allies said.

Thousands of people were detained in protests that occurred after Navalny was arrested in January. The opposition leader was arrested upon returning to Moscow from Berlin, after recovering from a poisoning attempt from August 2020.

Lyubov Sobol, a close ally of Navalny’s, was sentenced to 18 months under parole-like restrictions earlier this month. She was found guilty of inciting citizens to violate COVID-19 restrictions by encouraging their participation in the demonstrations.

Navalny was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in February for violating parole while recovering from the poisoning, for which the U.S. and other nations blamed Russia.

The Biden Administration sanctioned Russia in March for using chemical weapons against dissidents, including Navalny. National security adviser Jake Sullivan said in June that the U.S. was preparing more sanctions.

Tags Alexey Navalny Jake Sullivan Opposition to Vladimir Putin in Russia Russian law

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