International repudiation of the new sentence of the Russian justice against Alexei Navalny, the main opponent of Putin

Alexei Navalny (REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina) (EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA/)

USA on Friday condemned Russia for sentencing the imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny to 19 years behind bars on charges of extremism, calling it “an unfair conclusion for an unfair trial”.

“The United States condemns the new sentence and conviction of a Russian court against opposition politician and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny”, the US State Department said in a statement.

“During years, the Kremlin has tried to silence Navalny and prevent his calls for transparency and accountability from reaching the Russian people”, he added.

For her part, the European Unionthrough its High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrellstressed: “This verdict is politically motivated and demonstrates the continued instrumentalization of the Russian legal system”.

The Twenty-seven expressed in a statement their “strong condemnation” to the sentence handed down against the Russian opposition politician by a Moscow court, which sentenced him to an additional 19 years in prison for actions that constitute “legitimate political and anti-corruption activities”, indicated the Council.

The hearing against Navalny (REUTERS / Evgenia Novozhenina)
The hearing against Navalny (REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina) (EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA/)

They also regretted that Navalny’s hearings were held in a “enclosed environment, inaccessible to your family and observers”.

“This is a clear indication that the Russian legal system continues to be instrumentalized against Mr. Navalny and how much the Russian authorities fear him.”, according to the same statement.

They also reiterated their call on Russia to comply with the “precautionary measure of the European Court of Human Rights, which has demanded the immediate release” of the Russian opponent.

The EU recalled that Russia “remains obliged to fully implement the judgments of the Human Rights Court related to violations (…) that occurred before September 16, 2022.”

For the EU, Navalny “is yet another example of the continued systematic repression by the Russian authorities and their disregard for the human rights of their own citizens”.

The Union also expressed its “deep concern” at reports of ill-treatment, unjustified and illegal disciplinary measures and harassment, including physical and psychological torture by prison authorities against the Russian opponent and warned that Russia’s political leaders “will have to be held accountable.”

A protest against the arrest of Navalny (Europa Press)
A protest against the arrest of Navalny (Europa Press) (Paul Zinken/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa/)

Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turkcondemned the new sentence to Navalny, whose release he requested in a statement.

The new sentencerenews fears about judicial harassment and political use of the Russian justice system“, he pointed.

The conviction, he added, “is based on vague, overt, accusations of ‘extremism’and it is dictated after a trial behind closed doors in the same facilities where Navalny was already serving other prison sentences of 11 and a half years.

“I call on the Russian authorities to respect their obligations, ending the human rights violations against Navalny and releasing him,” Türk added.

The UN human rights chief added that the sentence comes in a context of growing repression of freedom of expression and persecution of the political opposition in Russia.

“Since February 2022, some 20,000 people have been detained in Russia for actions against the war against Ukraine, including protests or messages on social networks,” Türk recalled.

“I call for an impartial and transparent review of such cases in accordance with international human rights standards,” he said.

(With information from EFE and AFP)

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The Russian Justice sentenced the opposition Alexei Navalny to another 19 years in prison after accusing him of “extremism”