MOSCOW — The lead lawyer defending the Russian opposition chief Aleksei A. Navalny in an extremism case that would outlaw Mr. Navalny’s opposition motion was arrested on Friday, the most recent occasion of a outstanding escalation by the Kremlin in its long-running marketing campaign to stifle dissent.
The lawyer, Ivan Pavlov, was detained after Russia’s Federal Safety Service, or F.S.B., raided his Moscow lodge room at 6:40 a.m., his colleagues mentioned. He stood accused of revealing particulars of a law-enforcement investigation unconnected to Mr. Navalny and confronted three months of jail time. Mr. Pavlov’s colleagues mentioned brokers additionally searched their group’s St. Petersburg workplaces and broke down the house door of their know-how supervisor.
Mr. Pavlov, considered one of Russia’s best-known human rights attorneys, has often represented high-profile defendants in instances involving the F.S.B., a successor to the Ok.G.B. that wields huge affect in Russia. His arrest shook Russia’s activist neighborhood as a result of attorneys have, for probably the most half, been in a position to proceed to function even because the authorities have intensified their crackdown on the opposition.
“Ivan’s arrest is related to his skilled exercise,” a bunch of attorneys mentioned in an open letter Friday. “We consider that these actions by regulation enforcement are aimed completely at scaring Ivan and his colleagues with a view to drive them to reject an energetic place in defending their purchasers.”
A decide later launched Mr. Pavlov however barred him from utilizing the telephone or the web.
Dmitri S. Peskov, the spokesman for President Vladimir V. Putin, mentioned he didn’t know the explanations for Mr. Pavlov’s arrest and couldn’t touch upon it. However he denied that the current spate of law-enforcement strain on opposition figures, activists, journalists and now attorneys was all a part of a single marketing campaign in opposition to Kremlin critics.
“This isn’t all a part of a unified pattern,” Mr. Peskov instructed reporters. “These are completely different episodes and completely different instances.”
Mr. Pavlov runs a authorized rights group referred to as Crew 29, named after the article of the Russian Structure that ensures the liberty of thought and speech. The group’s purchasers embody Ivan Safronov, a former journalist accused of spying for NATO last year.
Crew 29 mentioned that Mr. Pavlov was being investigated for allegedly disclosing categorised particulars of the Safronov case to the information media.
However the raids got here simply 4 days after Mr. Pavlov took up the protection of Mr. Navalny, Russia’s most distinguished opposition determine. On Monday, Crew 29 introduced it will be representing Mr. Navalny’s organizations in a lawsuit filed in April by Moscow prosecutors to have the organizations outlawed as extremist teams.
“Underneath the guise of liberal slogans,” prosecutors mentioned, “these organizations are busy forming circumstances for destabilizing the social and sociopolitical state of affairs.”
Mr. Pavlov mentioned on Monday that his workforce would disclose as a lot data as potential concerning the extremism case in opposition to Mr. Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Basis and his regional workplaces, though the authorities had categorised the proof as a state secret.
“We all know very effectively what a state secret is, and we all know tips on how to work with this,” Mr. Pavlov mentioned. “We additionally know which data can’t be categorised underneath any circumstances.”
Mr. Navalny returned to Russia in January after recovering from a poisoning that Western officers consider was an assassination try by the Russian state. Since then, the Russian authorities have entered a brand new section of their yearslong marketing campaign to repress the opposition, rising their strain on journalists and jailing or forcing into exile Mr. Navalny’s associates. Mr. Navalny was sentenced to a two-and-a-half yr jail time period in February for violating parole for what rights teams say was a politically motivated conviction for embezzlement.
Anticipating that Mr. Navalny’s motion would quickly be outlawed as extremist, the opposition chief’s associates on Thursday said they were shutting down their nationwide community of 40 regional workplaces.
The crackdown on dissent has accompanied rising tensions between Russia and the West, leaving common Russians more and more remoted from the skin world. In response to the April 15 American sanctions in opposition to Russia over hacking and different “dangerous international actions,” Russia countered by, amongst different issues, prohibiting the U.S. Embassy in Moscow from using people who find themselves not Americans.
The U.S. Embassy mentioned on Friday that the transfer had compelled it to put off three quarters of its consular employees. Because of this, the embassy said, it will cease processing practically all nonimmigrant visa requests in Russia, comparable to for tourism or work journey.
Ivan Nechepurenko contributed reporting.