Navalny convicted again, this time to nine years in prison.
Aleksej Navalny was on March 22. this year convicted to nine years in prison for an alleged defalcation from his own organizations, and for having shown contempt for the court. From before he was expiating a sentence of two and a half years for not having followed an obligation to report himself after a probated conviction from 2014.
On May 17., the same day as we norwegians happily could celebrate our countrys freedom and independence, Navalny appealed this conviction on the reason that it was a political decision. On May 24., this appeal was refused. The convictiom is thereby legally binding, and the sentence of nine years replaces the former one of two and a half years. Since some of it is already atoned, he has now eight years left of the sentence. The new conviction will imply that he will be moved to another prison camp than the one he has been kept in up to now, with harder conditions, among other things even less possibilities to have visitors. In addition to this, Navalny is still under investigation for alleged "extremism", which can give him another ten years in prison.
This shows how deeply scared Putin is at the mere thought of having Navalny walking around as a free man in Russia, and how vulnerable the fundaments of his power is when confronted with people who dare to question his legitimity as the leader of the country.
Navalny must be released now !
This story also shows how brutal the Putin regime is willing to be in the dealing with any sign of opposition in the country. Thus this conviction turns into another challenge to all of us to support Navalny and his collaborators. Though the situation today might seem somewhat hopeless, it is even more important to create as much attention as possible arond this encroachment. In the neighbour country Ukraine brave people are fighting a war against Putin on behalf of the rest of Europe. But inside Russia Navalny and the people around him is the most important counterforce against the despotism of Putin.
So this is not simply a question of making a protest against a legal encroachment, it is about supporting those who are fighting to put an end to the Putin regime and create a democracy in Russia. That is vital even to the rest of the world.
You can for instance sign the petition launched by Amnesty International to put a pressure on the russian government in this case. Or you can do it through Change.org which is another platform for this kind of campaigns.