Moscow Subway Reportedly Fires Dozens Of Workers Who Supported Navalny

The Moscow subway has fired dozens of workers who supported jailed Kremlin critic Aleksei Navalny, according to Dozhd TV, an independent station.

The firings follow the leak of a database last month that contained the names -- and in some cases employment information -- of hundreds of Navalny supporters.

Dozhd TV said it contacted people who were listed in the leaked database as Moscow subway workers and 33 confirmed they had subsequently been fired.

The former subway workers told Dozhd they were called to an office and informed their services were no longer needed, without further explanation in some cases.

They were encouraged to sign a document stating they were voluntarily leaving their job and forgoing termination benefits.

Otherwise they would be fired for violating discipline, which could hurt their future employment chances.

Several of the workers said they were told in informal discussions that an order had "come from higher-ups" to fire them.

The terminations are part of a larger state campaign to destroy Navalny's political movement, which is opposed to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The movement has grown rapidly over the years through Navalny's deft use of social media.

The opposition leader and anti-corruption campaigner has been able to rally tens of thousands of people around Russia to participate in anti-government protests, including more than 100,000 in January following his arrest.

Amid the movement's expanding influence, Moscow prosecutors last month asked a court to declare Navalny's regional campaign network, along with his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) and his Citizens' Rights Defense Foundation (FZPG) extremist organizations.

The Moscow City Court has said it will rule on the motion on May 17.

In the meantime, a group of Russian lawmakers has proposed legislation that would bar individuals involved in a group or organization that has been recognized by a court as "extremist or terrorist" from taking part in parliamentary elections for up to three years.

The bill also says that individuals who "provided financial support, property, as well as organizational, methodical, consultative, or any other type of assistance" to such organizations one year before the organization was banned will be barred from taking part in parliamentary elections for three years.

Navalny is currently serving a 2 1/2-year prison sentence on embezzlement charges that he says were trumped up because of his political activity.

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