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Russia: Jailed activist transferred to Moscow

Potrait of Lilia Chanysheva ©Private
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Lilia Chanysheva, a former regional coordinator of “Navalny’s headquarters” in Ufa, Bashkortostan (central Russia), was arrested on 9 November, following a search at her home. On the same day, the police searched the homes of other activists in Ufa and other Russian cities as part of a criminal case against Aleksei Navalny and his associates.


On 10 November, the Kirovsky District Court of Ufa, put Lilia Chanysheva in pretrial detention for two months. The court took this decision despite Lilia Chanysheva’s plea that she could be at the early stages of pregnancy. She was accused of “establishing or leading an extremist association” (Art. 282.1(1) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) in connection with her past work with Aleksei Navalny. If convicted, Lilia Chanysheva could face up to 10 years imprisonment. On 17 November the court upheld the decision to keep Lilia Chanysheva in pretrial detention. She was transferred from Ufa on 21 November. It is expected that she will be held in a detention centre in Moscow, almost 1,500 km away from her hometown.


On 9 June, the Moscow City Court arbitrarily banned as “extremist” three civil society organizations, namely the AntiCorruption Foundation, the Citizens’ Rights Protection Foundation and “Navalny’s headquarters”, all of them linked to Aleksei Navalny. The court hearing was closed to the media and the general public, and the grounds for the designation have not been made public.


On 28 September, the Russian authorities announced a new criminal investigation against Aleksei Navalny and his associates on unfounded charges of “establishment of an extremist association”. In October, it transpired that this investigation was joined with four other criminal cases against Aleksei Navalny, his colleagues and supporters. Lilia Chanysheva is the first of Navalny’s associates to be arrested under this criminal case.


Aleksei Navalny, leading Russian opposition activist and anti-corruption campaigner, was sentenced on 2 February 2021 to two years and eight months for “violation of probation terms” of a previous politically motivated sentence. Russian authorities have refused to release him despite mass protests and multiple decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. Aleksei Navalny is a prisoner of conscience and must be freed immediately and unconditionally.

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