Putin Hits Navalny With More Charges
Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny faces a new criminal charge of establishing an organisation that incited Russians to break the law, the Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said on Wednesday.
Mr. Navalny, President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest domestic critic, is already serving a 2 and a half-year sentence for parole violations he calls trumped up. He was arrested in January after he flew back from Germany where he had been recovering from a nerve agent poisoning.
The new crime is punishable by up to three years in jail.
Authorities have cracked down hard on opposition activists ahead of parliamentary elections in September.
The Investigative Committee said in a statement that Mr. Navalny and his allies used his Anti-Corruption Foundation to call on Russians to take part in unauthorised protests in January that authorities said were illegal.
The brutality of the regime against Mr. Navalny's has increased
A court in Russia declared Mr. Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation and regional campaign groups extremist in June, effectively outlawing their activity.
On Saturday, the regime officials have forced to leave the country another the Navalny's close ally, Ms. Lyubov Sobol, a lawyer and second leader of the group. She left Moscow for Ankara.
A day before, a Russian police investigator gouged an eye of the Navalny's group leader, the Siberian city of Omsk. The investigator said that it was an unfortunate occurrence for which he was not responsible. But the leader is in serious condition at the penitentiary system hospital.