A Russian court has approved a motion by prosecutors to suspend some of the activities of jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) and his Citizens’ Rights Defense Foundation (FZPG).
“A judge of the Moscow City Court has considered the motion of the plaintiff to take interim measures of protection. The judge of the Moscow City Court has decided to use interim measures of protection in the form of prohibiting certain acts with regards to the Anti-Corruption Foundation and the Citizens’ Rights Defense Foundation noncommercial organizations,” the court’s press office said on April 27.
According to the court, the move does not halt all activities at the two foundations. The court did not reveal the details of the restrictions, saying that the materials of the case were classified.
Lawyer Ivan Pavlov, who represents FBK and FZPG, said later in the day that the groups were temporarily banned from using media, placing materials on the Internet, taking part in elections and referendums, and carrying out some banking operations.
Pavlov added that the court’s ruling will be appealed.
FBK Director Ivan Zhdanov told MBKh Media that his group had no plans to change its activities following the court decision.
“It is not a suspension of our activities, it is a ban of some certain activities. We attentively looked through [the bans] in the [prosecutor’s] request. They were even written in an illiterate manner. We do not plan in any way to take those bans into consideration in carrying out our activities,” Zhdanov said.
The day before, the Moscow prosecutor halted all activities of Navalny’s regional offices. It petitioned the court to do the same for the FBK and FZPG, as the prosecutors didn’t have the authority to do so on their own.
The move is part of a broader initiative by the Moscow prosecutor’s office, which seeks to have the court label the FBK, the FZPG, and Navalny’s regional headquarters, as “extremist” organizations.
That proposal has been condemned by international and domestic human rights groups, who say that if the Navalny’s organizations are labeled “extremist,” their employees and those passing on information about them could face arrest and lengthy prison terms.
With reporting by TASS, Meduza, Mediazona, MBKh Media, and Interfax
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