rainn.png
Tuesday September 21st, 2021 1:43AM

Russian authorities increase pressure on opposition

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian authorities have ramped up their pressure on dissent ahead of a parliamentary election, arresting one opposition activist and raiding several others' homes.

Andrei Pivovarov, the head of the Open Russia movement that dissolved itself last week, was pulled off a Warsaw-bound plane at St. Petersburg's airport just before takeoff late Monday and was to be taken to Krasnodar in southern Russia Tuesday as part of a criminal probe against him.

Also on Tuesday, police raided a country home of opposition politician Dmitry Gudkov, a former lawmaker who has aspired to run for parliament in September. At least two of his associates also had their homes searched.

The moves are part of a multi-pronged crackdown on the opposition that is widely seen as part of the authorities' efforts to prevent any opposition groups from mounting a challenge to the main Kremlin-backed United Russia party in September's parliamentary election. United Russia's popularity has waned amid the country's economic slowdown.

Last week, Pivovarov announced that Open Russia was shutting down to protect its members from prosecution after the authorities had designated it as “undesirable.” The government already has outlawed more than 30 groups using a 2015 law that made membership in “undesirable” organizations a criminal offense. Another bill now making its way through parliament tightens punishment for their members.

In a letter from custody that his lawyers posted Tuesday on Pivovarov's Instagram account, he said “there is no cause for joy, but I don't feel despondent.”

He added: “There is a plan to put any people with a different view under arrest, but such people already are the majority."

His lawyers said that the charges against Pivovarov for assisting an “undesirable” organization were filed after he declared its closure.

Open Russia was financed by tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who moved to London after spending 10 years in prison in Russia on charges widely seen as political revenge for challenging President Vladimir Putin’s rule.

In March, police briefly detained about 200 participants of a forum of members of municipal councils that Open Russia helped organize.

Putin's most determined political foe, Alexei Navalny, was arrested in January upon his return from Germany, where he had spent five months recovering from a nerve agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin — accusations that Russian officials reject. He was handed a 2 1/2-year prison sentence in February for violating terms of a suspended sentence stemming from a 2014 embezzlement conviction that he denounced as politically driven.

With Navalny in prison, prosecutors have asked a Moscow court to designate his Foundation for Fighting Corruption and his network of regional offices as extremist groups. In a parallel move, a bill approved by the lower house of the Russian parliament bars members, donors and supporters of extremist groups from seeking public office — a measure that would keep Navalny's associates from running for parliament in September.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP World News
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
NATO ministers meet to prepare summit, Afghan withdrawal
NATO's foreign and defense ministers will be meeting to lay the groundwork for the military alliance's first summit with U.S. President Joe Biden
4:40AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Russian authorities increase pressure on opposition
Russian authorities are ramping up their pressure on dissent ahead of the country's parliamentary election, arresting one opposition activist and raiding several others’ homes
4:13AM ( 41 minutes ago )
London school fights COVID fallout with laptops, bean bags
Schools across Britain are racing to offset the disruption caused by COVID-19, which has hit kids from low-income and ethnic minority families the hardest
4:03AM ( 51 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Scrutiny mounts of legacy of pioneering Northwest missionary
Marcus Whitman has been an iconic figure from early Pacific Northwest history for generations
12:27AM ( 4 hours ago )
Biden to honor forgotten victims of Tulsa race massacre
President Joe Biden is set to mark the 100th anniversary of a massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that wiped out a thriving Black community
12:05AM ( 4 hours ago )
'Past the point of no return'? Iowa Dems feel hopes fading
There are signs of Democratic fatigue in Iowa, a state viewed for decades as a true political battleground
12:03AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Albania parliament to vote on president’s impeachment June 9
Albania's parliament has decided to hold an extraordinary session next week on the impeachment of the country’s president for allegedly violating the constitution
10:42AM ( 18 hours ago )
Dems walk, stop Texas GOP's sweeping voting restrictions
A restrictive voting bill in Texas that was on the verge of reaching Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk failed to pass Sunday night after Democrats walked out of the House chamber before a midnight deadline
8:05AM ( 20 hours ago )
Texas GOP's strict voting bill on the verge of final vote
The Texas Legislature is on the verge of signing off on some of the most restrictive voting measures in the U.S. A vote was expected Sunday in the GOP-controlled Texas House that would send Republican Gov. Greg Abbott a raft of election changes that would eliminate drive-thru voting and empower partisan poll watchers
5:35PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Congress News
The Latest: COVID-19 variants to be labeled as Greek letters
The World Health Organization is announcing a new nomenclature for the COVID-19 variants that were previously — and somewhat uncomfortably — known either by their technical letter-number codes or by the countries in which they first appeared
5:16PM ( 11 hours ago )
Mexico raids building project next to Teotihuacán pyramids
Mexico has sent in 250 National Guard troops and 60 police officers to seize a plot of land next to the pre-Hispanic ruins of Teotihuacan where authorities say bulldozers were destroying outlying parts of the archeological site
4:48PM ( 12 hours ago )
The Latest: Peru reports COVID-19 death toll is over 180,000
Peru announced a sharp increase in its COVID-19 death toll, saying there have been more than 180,000 fatalities since the pandemic hit the country early last year
4:00PM ( 12 hours ago )
AP World News
NATO ministers meet to prepare summit, Afghan withdrawal
NATO's foreign and defense ministers will be meeting to lay the groundwork for the military alliance's first summit with U.S. President Joe Biden
4:40AM ( 16 minutes ago )
London school fights COVID fallout with laptops, bean bags
Schools across Britain are racing to offset the disruption caused by COVID-19, which has hit kids from low-income and ethnic minority families the hardest
4:03AM ( 52 minutes ago )
Australian court upholds ban on most international travel
An Australian court has rejected a challenge to the federal government’s draconian power to prevent most citizens from leaving the country so they don’t bring COVID-19 home
3:26AM ( 1 hour ago )
Israeli official rolls back army chief comments on AP Gaza
Israel’s defense minister has distanced himself from comments made by his military chief after Israel bombed a Gaza Strip high-rise housing an Associated Press office and other news outlets
2:57AM ( 1 hour ago )
Taylor's clutch hit caps 14-pitch at-bat, Dodgers deck Cards
Chris Taylor drove in three runs with a tiebreaking double that capped a 14-pitch at-bat in the sixth inning, rallying the Los Angeles Dodgers past the St. Louis Cardinals 9-4 to snap a three-game skid
2:41AM ( 2 hours ago )