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The Latest: Navalny hails European court victory

November 15, 2018
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In this selfie photo released by Anti-corruption Foundation Press Service, Russian anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny at Domodedovo international airport outside Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. Navalny was stopped at the border Tuesday and barred from leaving Russia as he was about to travel to a court hearing at the European Court for Human Rights in France. (Alexei Navalny/Anti-corruption Foundation press service via AP)

STRASBOURG, France (AP) — The Latest on a European court ruling on Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny (all times local):

11:30 a.m.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny says his win at the European Court of Human Rights is important for other political activists in Russia who are targeted by the state.

The court in Strasbourg on Thursday passed a landmark ruling saying that arrests of Navalny in Russia were politically driven. Navalny, arguably the most prominent foe of President Vladimir Putin, has spent a total of more than 140 days behind bars in the past year and a half.

Speaking in Strasbourg, Navalny hailed the ruling as an example of “genuine justice” and said it is an important signal for many people in Russia who face arbitrary detentions for their political activities.

The ruling which also ordered the Russian government to pay Navalny 63,000 euros ($71,000) in damages is final and binding on Russia as a member of the Council of Europe, the continent’s human rights watchdog.

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11:10 a.m.

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Russian authorities’ arrests of opposition leader Alexei Navalny were politically driven.

The European court found Thursday that Russian authorities violated Navalny’s rights in arrests from 2012 to 2014, and that two of them were expressly aimed at “suppressing political pluralism.”

It ordered Russia to pay Navalny 63,000 euros ($71,000) in damages, and to fix legislation to “take due regard of the fundamental importance of the right to peaceful assembly.”

The ruling is final and binding on Russia as a member of the Council of Europe, the continent’s human rights watchdog.

Navalny has faced fraud charges viewed as political retribution for investigating corruption and leading anti-government protests. The Kremlin dismisses Navalny as a trouble-maker with no political backing.

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10:15 a.m.

Russia is awaiting a European court ruling on whether it violated the rights of opposition leader Alexei Navalny when arresting him on repeated occasions.

A leading critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Navalny is expected to appear at the European Court of Human Rights in the French city of Strasbourg to hear the ruling Thursday, after a last-minute legal problem delayed his arrival.

The court ruled last year that seven of his arrests were unlawful and ordered Russia to pay 63,000 euros ($67,000) in compensation. But the court didn’t rule on Navalny’s arguments that the arrests were politically motivated.

The Russian government and Navalny appealed, and the case went to the court’s Grand Chamber, which issues its final, binding ruling later Thursday.

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