un raises alarm over kremlin critic alexei navalny getting 19 more years in prison
The latest 19-year prison sentence imposed on jailed Russian politician Alexei Navalny raises serious concerns over judicial harassment and instrumentalisation of the court system for political purposes, Volker Türk, the UN Human Rights High Commissioner, said in a statement.
The sentence followed a closed trial on the premises of the prison where the Kremlin critic is already serving a couple more terms amounting to 11 and a half years. Türk said the new sentence was based on vague and overly broad charges of “extremism”.
The rights chief called on Russian authorities to immediately cease violations of Navalny’s human rights and release him from custody. Friday’s decision comes against a backdrop of an increasingly repressive crackdown on political opposition and freedom of expression, he noted.
Türk Demands Immediate Release Of “All Those Arbitrarily Detained”
Since last year’s February, some 20,000 people in Russia have been detained, many of them briefly, for several actions against the brutal invasion of Ukraine, including protests and social media posts. Dozens were given administrative fines for discrediting the military, Türk said.
Several others were detained for allegedly proliferating misinformation about the actions of the army, he added. He demanded a transparent and impartial review of such cases, while taking the international human rights regulations into consideration.
The rights chief called for the immediate release of “all those arbitrarily detained”, stressing deprivation of liberty for the exercise of human rights, including the freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, prompts arbitrary detention under international laws.