Accessibility links

Breaking News

Lawyer For Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation Fined For 'Disobeying' Russian Police

Lyubov Sobol is driven in a prison car to the headquarters of the Investigative Committee in Moscow on February 4.
Lyubov Sobol is driven in a prison car to the headquarters of the Investigative Committee in Moscow on February 4.

Lyubov Sobol, a lawyer of Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), has been fined for what a Moscow court called "disobeying police."

Sobol's lawyer, Vladimir Voronin, said on February 4 after his client was fined 1,000 rubles ($13) that he will appeal the ruling.

"The charge is related to Sobol's arrival at [Moscow's] Vnukovo airport on January 17 to meet Navalny, who returned from Germany that day. Sobol was just sitting in a cafe without causing any problems and it was the police who broke the law by detaining her without explanation," Voronin said.

Sobol is currently under house arrest on suspicion of violating sanitary and epidemiological regulations during the coronavirus pandemic while taking part in a January 23 unsanctioned rally to protest Navalny's arrest.

That charge came down earlier on February 4, Voronin said on Twitter. If convicted, Sobol faces up to two years in prison.

Sobol, along with Navalny's brother, Oleg, and the coordinator of Navalny's Moscow headquarters, Oleg Stepanov, were detained last week and placed under house arrest until March 23.

The house arrests have been widely criticized as an attempt by the authorities to prevent them from taking part in rallies in support of Navalny, such as those that took place on January 23 and January 31.

Navalny was arrested on January 17 upon his arrival from Germany, where he was treated for a poison attack in Siberia in August, for which he has blamed Kremlin. The Kremlin has denied any involvement.

Navalny was charged with violating probation related to an embezzlement case that he has called politically motivated.

On February 2, Navalny was found guilty of violating the terms of the suspended sentence and sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison. Given the time he had already spent in detention, the court said he would have to serve 2 years and 8 months behind bars.

The ruling sparked new protests across the country, with more than 1,400 people detained on February 2.

With reporting by TASS
  • 16x9 Image


    RFE/RL journalists report the news in 27 languages in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.