Main opponent Alexei Navalny was added on Tuesday to the Russian government’s list of “terrorists and extremists”, taking another step in the relentless crackdown on critical voices in the Kremlin. Alexei Navalny, imprisoned for more than a year, and one of his relatives in exile, Lioubov Sobol, have been placed on the list of “terrorists and extremists” of the Russian financial intelligence service, Rosfinmonitoring.

Repression

According to the Anti-Corruption Fund, the organization of Alexei Navalny, banned in June, and at least nine other people linked to the opponent’s movement have also been added to this list. This decision is part of a context of all-out repression in Russia against the opposition, the media and civil society deemed critical of the authorities and President Vladimir Putin.

In mid-January, the two main lieutenants of Alexei Navalny, Ivan Zhdanov and Leonid Volkov, who live in exile, had also been added to the Rosfinmonitoring list. This catalog includes thousands of individuals and hundreds of Islamist, religious and ultra-nationalist organizations banned in Russia. There are, for example, the Taliban and the jihadist group Islamic State. Alexei Navalny was arrested on January 17, 2021 in Moscow, returning from convalescence in Germany after a serious poisoning in Siberia in August 2020 for which he holds President Putin responsible.

Two and a half years in prison

Russia has never opened an investigation into this assassination attempt, claiming to have no clues to this effect, Berlin having never shared the medical analyzes of the most famous opponent of the Kremlin. Alexei Navalny, a 45-year-old anti-corruption activist, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison after returning to his country for a case of “fraud” which he describes as political. This condemnation sparked a shower of international criticism and new Western sanctions against Moscow. In support, the European Parliament presented Alexis Navalny with its 2021 Sakharov Prize for the defense of freedom of thought.

Despite his imprisonment, Alexeï Navalny continues to urge his fellow citizens to stand up, regularly posting messages on social networks. On January 17, a year to the day after his arrest, Alexeï Navalny thus affirmed “to regret nothing” and called on the Russians not to be “afraid”. The arrest of Alexeï Navalny had triggered several days of demonstrations a year ago, but they had been brutally repressed. Then it was his movement that was banned in June for “extremism”. Alexei Navalny is also the target of new legal proceedings for “extremism”, which could allow him to be kept in prison for many years.

Growing pressures

The repression of his movement has been followed by increasing pressure on media critical of K. Remlin and NGOs, constantly referred to as “foreign agents”, an infamous label that greatly complicates their work with the threat of serious problems. judicial. Last December, the NGO Memorial, a pillar of the defense of human rights and a guardian of the memory of the victims of the Gulag, was banned by Russian justice for not having respected its obligations as an “agent of the ‘foreigner “.

This repression is also illustrated on the Internet and Russia is increasingly punishing large digital companies, especially foreign ones, accused of not deleting content linked to the opposition.

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