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Russian court orders arrest of Yulia Navalnaya

A Moscow court has issued an arrest warrant for the widow of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on charges of extremism, state media reported.

The charges against Yulia Navalnaya, who lives outside Russia, in absentia are related to her alleged “participation in an extremist society”, Tass news agency said.

Navalny was Russia’s most prominent opposition leader in the past decade. He died in February in a prison in the Arctic Circle. Russian authorities said he died of natural causes – but his widow said Navalny was “tortured, starved, mutilated and murdered” by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Navalny has been serving a 19-year sentence for extremism charges that are believed to be politically motivated.

In response to the arrest warrant, Yulia Navalnaya posted on X: “When writing about this, please do not forget to write the main thing: Vladimir Putin is a murderer and a war criminal.

“His place is in prison, not somewhere in The Hague, in a cozy cell with a TV, but in Russia – in the same prison block and the same two-square-meter cell in which he killed Alexei.”

A Moscow court ruled that Ms Navalnaya, who had sworn to continue her husband’s work, must be detained and she was declared wanted.

The decision means she faces arrest if she sets foot in Russia.

The charges may be related to a Moscow court ruling in June 2021 that declared three Navalny-linked organizations “extremists” and said they were illegal.

Ms Navalnaya was unable to attend. his funeral in march.

Since then, she has met a number of Western leaders, including US President Joe Biden.

This month, she was elected president of the US-based Human Rights Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to promote and protect human rights around the world.

She said she would use her role to promote her husband’s fight against Mr Putin.


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