A Russian court has banned several organizations of jailed dissident Alexei Navalny, classifying them as extremist.
The organisations include Navalny’s anti-corruption foundation FBK and his regional offices, the Moscow court announced on Wednesday.
The prosecution in Moscow said that Navalny’s movement was destabilizing the “socio-political situation in the country.”
It was calling for “extremist activities, mass unrest – also trying to implicate minors in illegal activities,” the prosecutor said.
Based on a new law, Navalny’s supporters may now not stand for the upcoming parliamentary elections in autumn. The law, which was implemented a few days ago, excludes supporters of extremist organizations from running in elections.
Navalny’s supporters had slammed the trial as politically motivated and as a means of silencing the opposition. His lawyers announced they would appeal the ruling.
Navalny urged his supporters not to give up. “As long as you are there, we will not disappear,” he said.
Already a few weeks ago, Navalny’s regional offices were hit with a temporary ban on activities and the operations of his foundation were severely curtailed.
Several days later, financial supervisory authorities put the organizations on a list of extremist and terrorist groups.
Navalny’s supporters have criticized the moves as a means to halt the fight against corruption and street protests ahead of the elections of the State Duma in September.
Earlier on Wednesday, Navalny’s supporters however vowed not to back down despite the ruling. They called on citizens to use the “smart” voting method intended to break the Kremlin party’s monopoly on power.
In April, tens of thousands of people protested for the release of Navalny, following mass protests in January. The 45-year-old opposition figure, who narrowly survived a poisoning attack last year, has been jailed in a prison camp for months.