Jailed Navalny Ally Chanysheva Asks Putin for Pardon – Reports

The jailed former regional coordinator of Alexei Navalny’s political network in Russia’s republic of Bashkortostan has asked President Vladimir Putin to pardon her, state-funded media reported Monday.

Lilia Chanysheva, 42, was the first of Navalny’s associates to be arrested on “extremism” charges in November 2021. Last month, a court in the city of Ufa sentenced her to nine-and-a-half years in prison on those charges.

The state-funded RT network on Monday published a letter, claimed to have been written by the jailed activist, where she asks Putin to be pardoned.

In the letter, Chanysheva was said to have written that she “voluntarily stopped participating in and leading” the Ufa branch of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation in 2021 and then ceased her political activism to devote time to her family.

The letter continues by saying that Chanysheva has elderly parents who are sick.

Chanysheva’s lawyer, Ramil Gizatullin, told the independent news outlet 7×7 that, while he had not personally seen the letter shared by RT, he also did not believe it was fake.

Gizatullin added that Chanysheva previously discussed with him the idea of writing a pardon request. He said that the handwriting in the letter published by RT appeared to belong to his client.

Chanysheva headed Navalny’s political office in Bashkortostan’s capital of Ufa until it was forced to dissolve in 2021, when the authorities blacklisted his activist network as “extremist.”

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