Russian prosecutors on Friday asked a Moscow court to designate the network of regional offices of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) as “extremist organizations.”
“Under the disguise of liberal slogans, these organizations are engaged in creating conditions for the destabilization of the social and socio-political situation,” the Moscow prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
It also accused the organizations of creating conditions for “changing the foundations of the constitutional order.”
The statement said the groups “carry out the activities of foreign and international organizations on the territory of the Russian Federation” and are therefore “undesirable.”
Navalny’s aides and organizations are subject to frequent police raids and arrests over their political activities.
His allies have faced increasing pressure in recent months after the opposition politician returned to Russia in January from Germany, where he spent months recovering from a near-fatal poisoning attack that he blames on the Kremlin.
Earlier on Friday, a Moscow court sentenced to two years in jail a Navalny ally working for FBK over the publication of “extremist” tweets.
On Thursday, key aide Lyubov Sobol was handed one year of community service for trying to enter the home of an alleged security agent that Navalny said took part in his poisoning.
Navalny, 44, was arrested on his return to Moscow and sentenced to two-and-a-half years behind bars on old embezzlement charges, sparking nationwide protests.
On March 31, Navalny announced a hunger strike in his penal colony, demanding adequate medical treatment for pain in his back and numbness in his legs.
His team on Monday said that Russian prison officials had threatened to start force-feeding him.
Navalny, who has lost significant weight since arriving at the facility in February, reiterated in an Instagram post on Friday that the prison authorities are threatening to force feed him.