Moscow Court Extends Pretrial Detention For Ex-Chief Of Navalny Support Group

By Idel.Realities

MOSCOW -- A court in Moscow has extended the pretrial detention of the former leader of a regional organization for jailed opposition activist Aleksei Navalny as the authorities continue to stamp out opposition to President Vladimir Putin.

Lilia Chanysheva's lawyer, Sergei Makarenko, told RFE/RL late on April 4 that the Basmanny district court ruled that his client must stay in pretrial detention until at least July 9 on charges of working for an extremist organization.

Makarenko said the decision will be appealed.

The 39-year-old Chanysheva was arrested on extremism charges in Bashkortostan's capital, Ufa, in November 2021 and later transferred to a detention center in Moscow.

Chanysheva headed the local unit of the Kremlin critic's network of regional campaign groups until Navalny's team disbanded them after a Moscow prosecutor went to court to have them branded "extremist."

A court accepted the prosecutor's request, effectively outlawing the group.

Chanysheva's defense team said at the time that her arrest was the first since the movement was banned. The charges appear to be retroactive, since the organization she worked for was disbanded before it had been legally classified as "extremist."

Navalny himself has been in prison since February, while several of his associates have been charged with establishing an "extremist" group. Many of his associates have fled the country.

Several former activists who worked for Navalny's groups have fled the country shortly before and after Chanysheva's arrest.