Lisbon expresses “regret” after sharing details on pro-Navalny protestors with Russian embassy

The city of Lisbon, Portugal has expressed “regret” after admitting that it made a mistake when they passed on information about a pro-Navalny protest to Russia”s embassy.

Lisbon City Council (CML) said the details referred to organisers of a January demonstration calling for Navalny’s release from prison.

The city hall has to collect data from at least three organisers before authorising a protest.

“As required by law, the details of the three organisers [of the demonstration] were received,” the council said in a statement.

“This information was forwarded … to the entity/place where the demonstration was held, in this case, the Russian embassy,” they added.

Lisbon said they had received a complaint after sharing this data and the details of the organisers had since been deleted.

“CML regrets that the reproduction of procedures instituted for situations of normal democratic functioning has not proved adequate in this context,” the council said.

“Aware of this reality, the procedures were immediately changed to better protect the right to demonstrate and to freedom of expression.”

But the council denied allegations that it had colluded with Russia when sharing the details of the activists, two of whom had Portuguese nationality.

“CML vehemently rejects any accusations and insinuations of complicity with the Russian regime,” the statement read.

“CML has homogeneously complied with Portuguese Law, applying the same procedures to all types of demonstrations, regardless of the promoter and the addressee.”

Lisbon confirmed that their internal procedures had been changed and it had not shared any information of activists who have since organised protests in front of the embassies of Israel, Cuba, or Angola.

Supporters of Navalny in Russia have vowed to continue demonstrating, despite Russia banning the group for extremism on Wednesday.

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