Navalny sentenced to additional 19 years in prison for 'extremism'

Kremlin critic Aleksei Navalny was sentenced on Friday by a Russian court to 19 years of additional imprisonment for extremism, his spokesperson announced. Navalny is already serving a nine-year prison sentence for fraud.

The trial took place behind closed doors at the IK-6 penal colony in Melechovo, approximately 250 km east of Moscow. Navalny has been imprisoned there since January 2021. He stood trial for founding an "extremist group" and six related charges, risking 20 years of additional imprisonment. Russian authorities banned his anti-corruption organisation FBK in 2021 for "extremism".

In addition to the 19-year sentence, the judge ruled that Navalny must serve further punishment in the penal colony, generally reserved for the most dangerous inmates and those sentenced to life in prison.

Before the trial, 47-year-old Navalny had predicted he would receive "a huge, Stalinist punishment". He also said he expected prosecutors to open a case charging him with "terrorism", with the intention to imprison him for another 10 years.

Navalny is currently serving a nine-year sentence for fraud and contempt of court, imposed after he returned to Russia in early 2021 from Germany, having narrowly survived a poisoning in 2020. He has dismissed all charges against him as politically motivated and is seen as a political prisoner internationally.



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