Russia adds lawyers for dissident Alexei Navalny to ‘extremists’ list News
Evgeny Feldman, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Russia adds lawyers for dissident Alexei Navalny to ‘extremists’ list

Russia’s Federal Service for Financial Monitoring added on Thursday three lawyers representing jailed opposition politician Alexei Navalny to its list of “terrorists and extremists.” Under Russian law, individuals on the “terrorist and extremist” list face frozen bank accounts and suspended services.

This development comes on the heels of the October 13 arrest of the three lawyers—Vadim Kobzev, Igor Sergunin, and Alexei Lipster—who were working to defend Navalny against extremism charges. The accusations against Kobzev, Sergunin and Lipster include allegations of using their status as lawyers to access the correctional institution where Navalny is held and allegedly facilitating the regular transfer of information within the so-called extremist community.

Alexei Navalny has been in custody in Russia since January 2021 and has faced multiple convictions, with his most recent being a nineteen-year sentence on extremism charges in August. Navalny attempted to appeal the charges in September, but the Moscow City Court rejected his appeal.

Amnesty International’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia Deputy Director Denis Krivosheev condemned the October 13 arrest of Navalny’s lawyers. He emphasized that the arrests not only violated the human rights of the lawyers but also sent a chilling message to legal professionals in Russia. Krivosheev claimed the arrests warned other legal professionals that they too may face potential consequences for representing individuals deemed foes of the Kremlin.