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European Court Orders Russia to Compensate Navalny for Passport Restrictions

Alexei Navalny / Moskva News Agency

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ordered Russia to compensate opposition leader Alexei Navalny for restricting his freedom of movement.

Navalny went to the ECHR in 2015 seeking 50,000 euros in damages for the authorities’ refusal to issue him a passport until 2017, when he was allowed to seek treatment abroad for a green dye attack that almost blinded him.

“The respondent State is to pay the applicant, within three months, EUR 2,000 (two thousand euros),” the ECHR ruled on Tuesday, noting that the state had violated Navalny’s freedom of movement.

The Navalny case was part of 12 decisions the ECHR handed down on Tuesday, including 12,500 euros in compensation for a participant of anti-Kremlin protests in 2012.

Russia has paid 900 million rubles ($14.5 million) in compensation for ECHR rulings in 2017, Russia’s human rights ombudswoman estimated this week, the state-run TASS news agency reported.

“I hope this decision helps an enormous number of people who were subjected to this dumb, pointless, corrupt ban,” Navalny wrote in a blog post reacting to the decision.

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