Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Brussels, 2 February 2023

Today marks two years since the politically motivated sentencing of the Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny by a domestic court in Russia.

The sentencing follows his arbitrary arrest and imprisonment upon returning to Russia from life-saving medical treatment in Berlin after an assassination attempt in August 2020 in Russia with a military chemical nerve agent banned under the Chemical Weapons Convention, to which Russia is a State Party.

The European Union has condemned the poisoning of Mr Navalny in the strongest possible terms and in response imposed sanctions on those involved in the assassination attempt, the arbitrary arrest, prosecution and sentencing of Mr Navalny.

Reports of repeated ill treatment harassment and physical and psychological torture by Russian prison authorities of Mr Navalny are deeply disturbing. Russian authorities are responsible for his safety and health, to which we hold them to account.

From his prison cell, Mr Navalny courageously continues to speak out against the Russian authorities’ suppression of freedom of expression and independent media. Russia’s unjustified, unprovoked and illegal war against Ukraine, entering its 12th month, has only amplified Russia’s internal repression and systematic crackdowns on the Kremlin’s most vocal critics and civil society as a whole.

The European Union reiterates its call on Russia to fully cooperate with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to ensure an impartial international investigation, as well as to fulfil its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights, including to comply with the interim measure of the European Court of Human Rights requiring that Mr Navalny be immediately released from prison.

The European Union stands in solidarity with Alexei Navalny, Vladimir Kara-Murza and other political prisoners as well as Russian citizens who dare to speak the truth despite great personal risks.

Source – EEAS


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