MOSCOW (RUSSIA) – A Russian court on Thursday was expected to hand down a verdict in the trial of Anastasia Shevchenko, a 41 year old, mother of two was put under house arrest in early 2019 for carrying out activities on behalf of an “undesirable” group – Open Russia.
Open Russia is a British-based group founded by exiled former oil tycoon and Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky. It is one of more than 30 groups that Russia has labelled as undesirable and banned under a law adopted in 2015.
Anti-Kremlin activist whom state prosecutors want jailed for five years
The verdict comes amid a crackdown on allies of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny who returned to Russia last month after recovering from a nerve agent poisoning in Siberia.
Rights advocates say the laws on “undesirable” organisations and “foreign agents” can be used to pressure and target civil society members. Russia denies that and says the laws are needed to protect its national security from outside meddling.