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Russia declares Navalny’s groups ‘extremist’ in ongoing crackdown -lawyers

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Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny delivers a speech during a rally to demand the release of jailed protesters, who were detained during opposition demonstrations for fair elections, in Moscow, Russia September 29, 2019. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov/File Photo

A Russian court on Wednesday approved a request by prosecutors to declare organisations linked to jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny “extremist” in a move that outlaws the groups, his lawyers said on social media.

The ruling, which takes effect immediately, effectively bars the groups' members from running in a parliamentary election this year.

Navalny, who is serving a 2-1/2-year jail sentence on charges he says are trumped up, has denied extremism allegations, casting them as an attempt to stamp out opposition to the ruling United Russia party ahead of the parliamentary vote in September.

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