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Russia Opens Criminal Case Against Opposition Politician Over Anti-Kremlin Rallies

Russian opposition politician Yulia Galyamina (file photo)
Russian opposition politician Yulia Galyamina (file photo)

MOSCOW -- Russian authorities have opened a criminal case against Yulia Galyamina, an opposition member of a Moscow district council and an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin, over her involvement in anti-Kremlin rallies.

Galyamina repeatedly violated rules on public assembly when she organized and staged unsanctioned protests, rallies, and pickets, the Investigative Committee said on July 31.

If found guilty, she could face up to five years in prison and a ban from running for office for up to five years.

Galyamina told RFE/RL that the case had been launched to “pressure” her.

Amnesty International condemned the case as “appalling and reprehensible,” saying it was aimed at “silencing a major dissenting voice and threatening to ban her political activities.”

Demonstrations of more than one person require advance consent from the Russian authorities.

Galyamina has been involved in a campaign against what she described as Putin's illegal plans to remain in power.

The campaign planned a peaceful rally on July 15 in central Moscow against constitutional reforms that gave Putin the option to remain in power for another 16 years.

Dozens of people were detained by police during the protest.

Law enforcement officials also searched the homes of Galyamina and other opposition activists ahead of the demonstration.

Galyamina is accused of participating in several other peaceful rallies, including protests against electoral violations in Moscow in the summer of 2019.

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

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