Detention of Navalny’s Lawyers Extended until Mid-March by Russian Court

December 8, 2023 | by b1og.net


In a recent ruling by a Moscow court, the detention of three lawyers who once represented imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been extended until mid-March. The lawyers were arrested in October on charges of participating in an extremist group, a move widely perceived as a tactic to increase pressure on Navalny. The court’s decision to keep them behind bars further illustrates the ongoing crackdown on dissent in Russia. Navalny’s allies argue that targeting his lawyers is an attempt to isolate him further, as regular visits from legal representation provide a vital lifeline for political prisoners. With the Kremlin intensifying its efforts to suppress opposition voices, the situation remains uncertain for those who dare to challenge the regime.

Detention of Navalny’s Lawyers Extended until Mid-March by Russian Court

Detention of Navalnys Lawyers Extended until Mid-March by Russian Court

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Background Information

In a recent ruling, a Moscow court has extended the pre-trial detention of three lawyers who were once legal representatives for Alexei Navalny, a prominent opposition leader in Russia. These lawyers were arrested in October and have since faced accusations of participating in an extremist group. Many view this case as a tactic to increase pressure on Navalny, who has already been serving a 19-year sentence on charges of extremism.


Reasons for the Detention Extension

The court’s decision to extend the detention of Navalny’s lawyers until mid-March raises concerns about the fairness of their trial and the treatment of political prisoners in Russia. Authorities have accused the lawyers of using their status as defense attorneys to pass letters from Navalny to his team. This accusation further illustrates the government’s attempt to isolate and silence Navalny, who has been a vocal critic of official corruption and a key figure in anti-Kremlin protests.

Involvement in Extremist Group

The charges against the lawyers stem from their alleged participation in an extremist group. The Basmanny District Court ruled that Vadim Kobzev, Igor Sergunin, and Alexei Liptser will remain in detention until at least March 13. The lawyers’ arrests and prolonged detention reflect the government’s targeting of individuals associated with Navalny and his organizations. Navalny’s Foundation for Fighting Corruption and a network of regional offices were named extremist organizations in 2021, leaving anyone affiliated with them vulnerable to prosecution.

Accused of Passing Letters from Navalny

One of the accusations leveled against Navalny’s lawyers is that they used their legal privileges to pass letters from Navalny to his team. This accusation highlights the lengths to which authorities are willing to go to isolate Navalny and prevent him from communicating with the outside world. For political prisoners in Russia, regular visits from lawyers are a lifeline, allowing them to report any abuses by prison officials and providing a means for families to stay informed about their loved ones’ well-being.

Increasing Navalny’s Isolation

Targeting Navalny’s lawyers is just one of the tactics employed by Russian authorities to intensify his isolation. Since his arrest in January 2021, Navalny has faced multiple prison terms and been held in isolation for alleged minor infractions. These measures not only undermine his rights as a prisoner but also aim to diminish his influence and deter others from dissenting against the government.

Importance of Lawyer Visits for Political Prisoners

Regular visits from lawyers play a crucial role for political prisoners in Russia, particularly those in remote regions. These visits provide prisoners with a lifeline, allowing them to share information about their conditions and report any abuses they have experienced. For their families, lawyer visits offer reassurance that their loved ones are receiving legal assistance and are not forgotten by the outside world. By targeting Navalny’s lawyers, the Russian government is further eroding the limited rights and support available to political prisoners.

The Kremlin’s Crackdown on Dissent

The Kremlin’s crackdown on dissent has been intensifying in recent years, and it has escalated further following the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Hundreds of people have been detained or implicated in criminal cases for speaking out against the war, including notable cases like that of Alexei Moskalyov. The government’s actions not only stifle opposition but also create an atmosphere of fear and censorship.


Pressure After Ukraine Invasion

The invasion of Ukraine in 2022 has triggered a wave of political repression in Russia. The government has targeted not only those who oppose the war but also long-standing Kremlin critics and human rights activists. This aggressive campaign seeks to silence any dissenting voices and maintain the government’s control over the narrative.

Detention of Grigory Melkonyants

In addition to Navalny’s lawyers, other prominent figures have also faced detention in Russia. Grigory Melkonyants, one of the leaders of Golos, a renowned independent election monitoring group, was arrested in August on charges of involvement with an “undesirable” organization. Golos has faced mounting pressure from authorities over the years, culminating in its designation as a “foreign agent” and eventual liquidation as a non-governmental organization. Melkonyants’ detention underscores the government’s targeting of individuals and organizations that promote transparency and democracy in Russia.

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Targeting of Golos

The targeting of Golos is part of a wider campaign against independent election monitoring groups in Russia. Golos, founded in 2000, has played a crucial role in exposing election fraud and ensuring fair democratic processes. However, the Russian government’s various measures, such as designating the group as a “foreign agent,” have severely limited its operations and undermined its credibility. The continued harassment and arrests of Golos members highlight the government’s determination to suppress any perceived threats to its power.


The extension of detention for Navalny’s lawyers until mid-March reveals the ongoing assault on opposition voices in Russia. By isolating Navalny and targeting his legal representatives, the government aims to silence dissent and maintain control over the narrative. Furthermore, the crackdown on independent organizations like Golos highlights the systematic repression of those promoting transparency and democracy. It is crucial to bring international attention to these cases and advocate for the protection of political prisoners and human rights in Russia.

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