According to experts, the Russian authorities seek to stifle the opposition by resorting to means that violate human rights
On behalf of the employees of the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) of opposition politician Alexei Navalny, the first batch of 30 complaints was submitted to the European Court of Human Rights. This was announced to the Russian service of the Voice of America on Wednesday, March 4, by a lawyer, legal analyst of the Agora Interregional Human Rights Association. Irina Khrunova.
In total, according to her, there will be about 150 complaints in accordance with the number of searches carried out at FBK employees in three dozen regions of the country. The special operation took place in August – September last year as part of a criminal case initiated by the authorities in connection with the alleged money laundering by the Anti-Corruption Foundation. At that time, over a hundred bank accounts of employees of the Foundation and its regional headquarters, as well as volunteers, activists and their relatives were frozen. Companions of Navalny categorically deny the accusations against them.
Irina Khrunova believes that the campaign against FBK was sanctioned by the highest echelons of the Russian government.
“Searches took place throughout the Russian Federation with a large number of police and Investigative Committee officers involved on instructions from Moscow,” she recalled in a comment to the Russian service of the Voice of America. – That is, there was an order from above, which clearly prescribed how to conduct searches, what documents to issue, how to interrogate after a search, and so on. The police in various regions of the country established the addresses, places of work or study of FBK employees, volunteers and just people who have something to do with Navalny’s headquarters, what cars they drive, the sphere of interests and communication, and so on. “.
There is a clear violation of the right to respect for private life, the right to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, stated Irina Khrunova.
“Now we are preparing complaints to the European Court of Human Rights on almost all searches. The first batch of 30 complaints was gone. The rest will be dispatched shortly. We ask the court to recognize violations, including of the International Convention on Human Rights, ”the lawyer summed up.
We will remind, on the eve of the authorities blocked all bank accounts of the founder of the Anti-Corruption Fund Alexei Navalny and the director of the Fund Ivan Zhdanov, as well as their immediate family, including children. According to Navalny himself, everything indicates that these actions were carried out within the framework of the notorious “FBK case”.
“This is quite unpleasant, I will not hide it,” he wrote on Facebook. – Well, my parents are elderly people, pensioners. Like everyone else, they have diseases, medicines, etc. And now figs knows how to pay for utilities. The child (daughter – V.V.) studies on the other side of the planet alone – left without a penny of money. Hungry, of course, will not stay, and there is a hostel “.
The politicians were especially outraged by the fact that the Russian authorities always assert that “they do not touch the children.” The funds were frozen even on the children’s bank card of Navalny’s son, Zakhar, who was saving money to buy a laptop.
Irina Khrunova believes that the actions of the authorities in this case are illegal. But something concrete can still be said after some legal analysis, she said..
Head of the Program “Support for Political Prisoners and Persecuted Civil Activists” of the Human Rights Center “Memorial” Sergey Davidis in a commentary for the Russian service of the Voice of America, he noted that this fact fits well into the state strategy, which began to be actively applied in practice last year. According to him, the authorities are now increasingly seeking to financially strangle the opposition..
“All the increasing amounts of fines fit into this scheme, which, thanks to the helpful deputies, is enshrined in law,” he stressed. – And they can be fined for anything, including for formal violations related to public events. There would be a desire, but there will always be a reason. They use, in particular, an absolutely vicious and illegal practice of recovering damages unlawfully imposed on the organizers of public actions. People are “appointed” as organizers quite arbitrarily. As it was, for example, during the protests in connection with the elections to the Moscow City Duma. Huge penalties were imposed on them, measured in millions of rubles, this is an unbearable burden “.
Navalny libel case: Ruling due in Kremlin critic’s anti-corruption foundation appeal
And now we see the continuation of this line, Sergei Davidis is convinced: “But what have the children, parents to do with, why should they suffer? This defies any logic, what can we say about legality. Blatant arbitrariness. However, the details can be sorted out only when the formal grounds for such actions become known. “.
At the same time, the human rights activist expressed confidence that Alexei Navalny and his associate would appeal this decision and win the case – “if not in domestic instances, then in international ones.”.