The Moscow-based Memorial human rights center has condemned a court decision to label a group of organizations associated with jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny as extremist.

In a statement on June 11, Memorial called the court’s decision to label Navalny’s regional campaign network, along with his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) and his Citizens’ Rights Defense Foundation (FZPG), “another step toward the full replacement of political discussion and political competition with repression.”

“We consider the decision to ban these public organizations as purely political, violating the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens. It brazenly contradicts freedom of association, freedom of assembly, and freedom of expression. Its obvious consequence will be politically motivated criminal prosecutions and administrative repressions. Its goal is obvious — the fear of such deliberately used sanctions will paralyze peaceful political opposition, as well as, wider public activities and public criticism of the authorities,” Memorial’s statement says.

The Moscow City Court handed down its…

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