Alexei Navalny has recorded another success. On Sunday, in several proceedings, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg condemned Russia for the arbitrary arrest of the Russian opposition politician. The judges ruled that Navalny had been arrested without sufficient justification at peaceful demonstrations and rallies in Moscow seven times between 2012 and 2014, and in some instances held for many hours. Navalny’s rights to the freedom of protest and expression as well as his right to freedom had been repeatedly violated, they said. The judges also ruled that there had been a violation of his right to a fair trial, as the Russian courts had dismissed all Navalny’s objections to the arrests. The court awarded the complainant damages of 64,000 euros.
39-year-old Navalny is one of the most influential opposition politicians of the new generation in Russia. He studied law, making a name for himself as an anti-corruption fighter. His “Foundation for the Fight Against Corruption” regularly exposes the intrigues of Russian elites.
Navalny’s reputation as a fearless critic of the powerful comes primarily from his blog, where he has been publishing critical research about the dubious business practices of big Russian businesses since 2007. It was Navalny who branded the governing party United Russia the “party of crooks and thieves.” He became known outside Russia as the spokesman for the protests against the disputed parliamentary election in December 2011 and the re-election of Vladimir Putin to the presidency in May 2012.