Russia: Alexei Navalny sentenced to 9 years in prison

Russian opposition leader and prisoner of conscience Aleksei Navalny has been sentenced to 9 years in prison for his overt criticism of Vladimir Putin and peaceful political activism.

On March 22, the Lefortovo District Court of Moscow delivered its verdict at a hearing held in penal colony IK-2 in Pokrov, Vladimir Region, where Aleksei Navalny is serving his previous, arbitrary 2.5-year sentence. The court found him guilty of “fraud on an especially large scale” and “contempt of court.” The politician has been accused of siphoning off approximately US$ 25,000 from donations to organizations he founded.

Amnesty International analyzed his case and concluded that this prosecution was politically motivated and based on the arbitrary application of law which wrongfully criminalized Aleksei Navalny.

Aleksei Navalny faces further reprisals from the Russian state. In September 2021 the authorities opened a new criminal case against him and his associates under the trumped-up charge of creating an “extremist association.” The Anti-Corruption Foundation and the Citizens’ Rights Protection Foundation, both founded by Navalny, were arbitrarily officially labelled “extremist” and banned in June 2021.