House Arrest Of Navalny Associates Replaced With Milder Restrictions
(Article text ©2021 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – MOSCOW, April 8, 2021 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/house-arrest-of-navalny-associates-replaced-with-milder-restrictions/31192851.html)
The house arrest of the brother of jailed Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny, a close associate, and two Moscow municipal lawmakers who are charged with breaking coronavirus restrictions by publicly calling on Moscow residents to take part in unsanctioned rallies in January, has been cancelled.
Vladimir Voronin, the lawyer for Lyubov Sobol, who is a lawyer with Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), said late on April 7 that the Moscow City Court had ruled to replace the house arrest of his client, as well as Navalny’s brother, Oleg Navalny, and Moscow city lawmakers, Lyusya Shtein and Konstantin Yankauskas, with other restrictions.
According to the court decision, the new restrictions include being barred from leaving their homes between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., a ban on communicating with other individuals in the case, a ban on the use of all methods of communication to discuss issues related to the case, and a ban on the use of regular mail or telegraphic communication.
The four, along with six other supporters and associates of Navalny, were detained in January on the eve of unsanctioned mass rallies against the Kremlin critic’s arrest.
The others include Anastasia Vasilyeva, the chief of the Alliance of Doctors NGO; Maria Alyokhina, a leading member of the Pussy Riot protest group; Oleg Stepanov, a coordinator of Navalny’s team in Moscow; Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh; activist Nikolai Lyaskin; and a municipal lawmaker Dmitry Baranovsky.
The majority of them remain under house arrest and all have been charged with violating sanitary and epidemiological safety precautions during a pandemic. If found guilty of the charges, each faces up to two years in prison.
The Memorial Human Rights Center in Moscow has recognized the group as political prisoners.