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NEW YORK, NY (July 10, 2024) — Vladimir Putin’s regime on Tuesday issued an arrest warrant for Yulia Navalnaya, chair of the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) and widow of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Navalnaya is accused of “participating in an extremist community.”

“Today’s verdict reveals Putin’s deeply rooted insecurity,” Yulia Navalnaya said. “Labeling peaceful, nonviolent opponents as ‘extremists’ and ‘terrorists’ is a common tactic of repression. Putin seeks to silence me and the voices of millions of Russians who challenge his murderous and kleptocratic regime.”

Navalnaya is renowned for her unwavering commitment to democratic principles and human rights and her steadfast support for her late husband, the leader of opposition and an outspoken critic of Putin’s dictatorship. In 2011, Navalny founded the Anti-Corruption Foundation to conduct investigations on state companies and senior government officials. In 2013, despite an unfree and unfair electoral process, he came in second in Moscow’s mayoral election, and in 2018, he campaigned — but was illegally disqualified — for the presidential election.

As a result of his tireless activism, Navalny was jailed and targeted with assassination attempts. In August 2020, he survived a murder attempt by Secret Service agents who poisoned him with a nerve agent. He courageously returned to Russia, where he was immediately arrested and sentenced to 19 years in prison on charges of “extremism.” On Feb. 16, Navalny was murdered while serving his sentence at the “Polar Wolf” penal colony in Russia’s Arctic Circle. He was 47 years old.

In June, Navalnaya attended the Oslo Freedom Forum to accept the 2024 Thulani Maseko Justice Prize on behalf of her late husband. The Maseko Prize, named after the late Swazi lawyer Thulani Maseko, recognizes courageous human rights lawyers who risk, or have risked, their lives to defend the rule of law and democracy.

Earlier this month, Navalnaya was elected chair of HRF, succeeding Garry Kasparov after the conclusion of his third term. Days later, on July 9, a Moscow court issued an arrest warrant against Navalnaya in absentia and put her on the wanted list due to her human rights work deemed “extremist” by Putin’s regime.

“Yulia Navalnaya was chosen as HRF’s chair for her commitment to a free and democratic Russia, following in the footsteps of her late husband,” HRF Founder Thor Halvorssen said. “Today’s arrest warrant is a laughable absurdity that reveals the moral corruption and doublespeak of a regime made up of murderous extremists. It is also a  testament to Navalny’s legacy and Yulia as a torchbearer of the legitimate Russian opposition. Even after Navalny’s death, Putin still fears him and the movement he created.”

The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies.

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