Russian court orders arrest of Yulia Navalnaya

  • author, Andre Rodin Paul
  • Role, BBC News

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 relate to her “alleged participation in an extremist community,” TASS news agency said.

Navalny was Russia’s most prominent opposition leader of 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 and murdered” by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Navalny had been serving 19 years in prison on extremism charges that were widely seen as politically motivated.

In response to the arrest warrant issued against her, Yulia Navalnaya posted on the X website: “When you write 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, and not somewhere in The Hague, in a comfortable cell with a TV, but in Russia – in the same colony and the same two-meter-long, three-meter-wide cell in which Alexei was killed.”

A Moscow court has ordered the detention of Ms Navalnaya, who has vowed to continue her husband’s work, and has declared her wanted.

This decision means that she could face arrest if she enters Russia.

She has since met with a number of Western leaders, including US President Joe Biden.

This month, she was elected president of the U.S.-based Human Rights Foundation — a nonprofit organization that works to promote and protect human rights around the world.

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

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