Russian court extends sentence of Navalny ally Lilia Chanysheva to 9.5 years

Lilia Chanysheva. Photo: SOTA

Lilia Chanysheva. Photo: SOTA

The Supreme Court of the Russian republic of Bashkortostan has increased the prison sentence for the former head of Alexey Navalny’s headquarters in the Volga region city of Ufa to 9.5 years.

Lilia Chanysheva, who was detained in 2021 at a rally protesting Navalny’s arrest, was initially sentenced to 7.5 years in prison in 2023 after she was found guilty of “calling for extremism”, using her official position to advance the “activities of an extremist community”, and creating an organisation that “violated the rights of citizens”.

In March, the prosecutor’s office demanded that her prison sentence be extended to 10 years, arguing that her original sentence had been “too lenient” given that she had “incited” local residents to take to the streets and protest.

Organisations related to Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, including his network of campaign offices and his Anti-Corruption Fund, were recognised as “extremist” in 2021.

Chanysheva previously said in court that the charges against her were “baseless” as she headed Navalny’s regional headquarters before it was deemed an “extremist organisation”, while her lawyer described her initial sentence as politically motivated.

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