The anti-corruption group of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny is pledging to continue its work after a Russian court outlawed Navalny-affiliated organizations and labeled them “extremist.”
“We will continue to fight corruption!” Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation posted Thursday on Twitter.
The ruling Wednesday by the Moscow court prevents people linked to the Navalny-affiliated groups from seeking public office, including seats in parliament. Russia has a parliamentary election in September.
Prosecutors accused Navalny and his associates of trying to destabilize Russia.
The U.S. State Department condemned the ruling Wednesday.
“We urge Russia to cease the abuse of “extremism” designations to target nonviolent organizations, end its repression of Mr. Navalny and his supporters, and honor its international obligations to respect and ensure human rights and fundamental freedoms,” spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement. “The Russian people, like all people, have the right to speak freely, form peaceful associations to common ends, exercise religious freedom, and have their voices heard through free and fair elections.”
Nalvany, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critic, is serving a 2 1/2-year prison sentence for parole violations stemming from a 2014 embezzlement conviction he maintained was politically motivated.
Nalvany was arrested in January in Russia after spending five months in Germany recovering from a nerve agent poisoning, he accuses the Kremlin of committing. Russia has denied the allegation.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said she expects President Joe Biden to speak with Putin about Navalny’s poisoning and other human rights issues when they meet next week in Geneva.