Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Brussels, 4 August 2023

The European Union strongly condemns today’s ruling against the Russian opposition politician, Alexei Navalny, by a Moscow Court, sentencing him to an additional 19 years of imprisonment for actions which constitute legitimate political and anti-corruption activities. It also deeply deplores that the court hearings were conducted in a closed setting, inaccessible for his family and observers, in a strict-regime penal colony outside Moscow, where Mr Navalny is already serving politically motivated sentences of a total of 11.5 years. This is a stark indication that the Russian legal system continues to be instrumentalised against Mr Navalny. It also shows how much Russian authorities are afraid of him. Mr Navalny is yet another example of the continued systematic crackdown by the Russian authorities, and their disregard for the human rights of their own citizens.

The European Union reiterates its deep concern about reports of repeated ill-treatment, unjustified and unlawful disciplinary measures, and harassment amounting to physical and psychological torture by prison authorities against Mr Navalny. Russia’s political leadership is responsible for his safety and health, for which they will be held to account.

Three years have passed since the assassination attempt through poisoning of Mr Navalny on 20 August 2020 in Russia by using a toxic nerve agent of the “Novichok” group, banned under the Chemical Weapons Convention, to which the Russian Federation is a State Party. Together with its partners, the European Union will continue to repeat its call on Russia to investigate the assassination attempt on Mr Navalny in full transparency and without further delay, and to fully cooperate with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to ensure an impartial investigation.

The European Union continues to condemn in the strongest possible terms the poisoning of Mr Navalny as well as his politically motivated arrest, prosecution and sentencing, and reiterates its call on Russia to immediately and unconditionally release him. Sanctions have been imposed since 2020 against individuals and entities responsible for the poisoning, arbitrary arrest, prosecution and sentencing of Mr Navalny. On 20 July, the Council adopted additional measures against 11 individuals and 5 entities responsible for serious human rights violations in Russia, also related to Mr Navalny’s case.

The European Union reiterates its call on Russia to comply with the interim measure of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) requiring the immediate release of Mr Navalny from prison. The European Union recalls that Russia remains bound to fully implement the ECtHR judgements related to human rights violations that have occurred before 16 September 2022, when Russia ceased to be a Party to the European Convention on Human Rights.

Source – EU Council

Forward to your friends