Алексей Навальный и Фонд борьбы с коррупцией подали жалобу против России в Европейский суд по правам человека
Опубликовано: 18 May 2020
On March 6, 2020, well-known Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, his Anti-Corruption Fund (FBK) and nine employees filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights, alleging that the Russian authorities illegally impeded their activities by conducting a large-scale and aggressive criminal investigation cases of alleged money laundering by FBK employees. EHRAC together with FBK lawyer Alexander Pomazuev represent the applicants in this case.
“This is an extremely important matter to guarantee democratic freedoms in Russia and to effectively protect human rights defenders and other ‘critical voices ‘ whose activities are constantly threatened by arbitrary actions by the Russian authorities.”
Philip Leach, Director of EHRAC
On August 3, 2019, the Investigative Committee of Russia opened a criminal case against FBK on charges of alleged money laundering. Almost immediately, the case was transferred to the Senior Investigator for Particularly Important Cases under the Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia, who is appointed and dismissed by the President of Russia. A huge working group was created to investigate the criminal case. From September 2, 2019 to October 16, 2019, Russian investigators conducted 190 searches of housing and offices in 41 regions of Russia and froze 173 bank accounts. FBK employees and volunteers, supporters of Mr. Navalny, as well as their relatives, neighbors and acquaintances fell under these measures. During the searches, items not related to the investigation were seized, including video and lighting equipment and electronic devices belonging to children.The Ministry of Justice recognized FBK as a “foreign agent” .
“The Russian authorities have repeatedly persecuted me for my political activities. Under attack not only me, but also the organizations that I created, and all the employees of these organizations. Since 2019, political pressure on FBK has increased. Endless searches, seizure of equipment and seizure of bank accounts are significant interventions in our business. These actions coincided with important political changes in which FBK and I are directly involved, including protests against the prohibition of independent candidates from participating in the elections. This proves that the government exerts pressure solely for political purposes. ”
On March 2, 2020, a few days before the applicants applied to the European Court of Human Rights, the Russian authorities froze the personal bank accounts of Mr Navalny , his wife, children and elderly parents.
In their complaint, the applicants argue that the coercive measures of the Russian authorities are a deliberate and ongoing campaign against FBK and Mr Navalny’s supporters, the purpose of which is to discourage their political activities by means of intimidation and threats. The applicants allege that the unlawful actions of the authorities prevented them from exercising their rights to freedom of association and to freedom of expression (Articles 11 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights) for clearly political purposes (in conjunction with Article 18), that the searches were an interference with their private and professional life (Article 8) and that the seizure of their property and the seizure of bank accounts impeded their control over the use of their property (Article 1 of Protocol 1).