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Russian authorities raid the homes of lawyers for imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny

Russian authorities on Friday searched the houses of three attorneys representing imprisoned opposition chief Alexei Navalny and detained one in all them, the politician’s allies mentioned.

The transfer in opposition to his attorneys is an try and “utterly isolate Navalny,” his ally Ivan Zhdanov mentioned on social media. Navalny has been behind bars since January 2021, serving a 19-year jail sentence, however has been in a position to get messages out usually and sustain with the information.

The raids concentrating on Vadim Kobzev, Igor Sergunin and Alexei Liptser are a part of a felony case on expenses of collaborating in an extremist group, Zhdanov mentioned. All three had been detained after the search, apparently as suspects within the case, Navalny’s group mentioned on Telegram.

Based on Leonid Volkov, Navalny’s chief of workers, the case in opposition to the attorneys comes at a time when the opposition chief is about to be transferred to a unique penal colony, “unclear the place.” Volkov, who resides overseas, referred to as it a “scary step.”

For a lot of political prisoners in Russia, common visits from attorneys – particularly in distant areas – are a lifeline that enables them to be in contact with family members and supporters, in addition to reporting and pushing again in opposition to abuse by jail officers.

Navalny, 47, is President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest foe, campaigning in opposition to official corruption and organizing main anti-Kremlin protests. He 2021 arrest came across his return to Moscow from Germany the place he recuperated from nerve agent poisoning that he blamed on the Kremlin. He has since been handed three jail phrases, most not too long ago on the costs of extremism.

Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Basis and an unlimited community of regional workplaces had been outlawed that very same 12 months as extremist teams, a step that uncovered anybody concerned with them to prosecution.

Navalny has beforehand rejected all the costs in opposition to him as politically motivated and accused the Kremlin of in search of to maintain him behind bars for all times.

Kobzev was due in courtroom Friday, together with Navalny, for a listening to on two lawsuits the opposition chief had filed in opposition to the penal colony the place he is being held. Navalny mentioned on the listening to, which was later adjourned till November, that the case in opposition to his attorneys is indicative “of the state of rule of regulation in Russia.”

“Similar to in Soviet instances, not solely political activists are being prosecuted and become political prisoners, however their attorneys, too,” he mentioned.

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