Moscow Court Jails Member Of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation On Extremism Charges

By RFE/RL's Russian Service

MOSCOW -- A Russian court has ordered a member of opposition politician Aleksei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) accused of inciting extremism on the Internet to be kept in pretrial detention until February 28, according to a top human rights lawyer.

Pavel Chikov, head of the legal-aid nongovernmental organization Agora, said on Telegram that the Presnensky District Court issued the ruling against Pavel Zelensky on January 16.

The decision comes a day before Navalny is set to fly back to Russia for the first time after spending six months in Germany where he was treated for a near-fatal poisoning, despite the risk of being jailed upon his return.

Zelensky, a camera operator for FBK, was detained on January 15 and charged over a tweet he sent last year following the self-immolation of journalist Irina Slavina in the city of Nizhny Novgorod.

In his tweet on October 2, 2020, Zelensky condemned the Russian authorities, saying they were responsible for the journalist's death.

Slavina died after setting herself on fire in front of Nizhny Novgorod's city police department on October 2 following a police raid on her apartment in an apparent search for evidence linking her to an opposition group.

Before setting herself on fire, Slavina posted a statement on Facebook saying, "Blame the Russian Federation for my death."

Slavina's self-immolation caused a public outcry, with many people demanding justice for the journalist.