Alexei Navalny at the Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, January 17, 2021. Photo: REUTERS/Polina Ivanova

18 January 2021, 18:23

HRC "Memorial" recognizes Alexei Navalny as a political prisoner

The detention under a far-fetched pretext of Alexei Navalny, who was not hiding from anyone, is a political reprisal, and the authorities must immediately release the oppositionist, the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial" reports today.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on January 17, at passport control at the Sheremetyevo Airport, the police detained the oppositionist, who returned from Germany, for violating his suspended sentence.

In August, opposition leader Alexei Navalny fell into a coma after being poisoned at the Omsk airport. He regained consciousness in Berlin, where he was taken for medical treatment. Alexei Navalny claimed that the Russian authorities initiated an attempt on his life.

The detention of Alexei Navalny became part of new politically motivated repressive campaign against the opposition politician, the HRC "Memorial" declares today. "The opposition politician did not hide from anyone and publicly announced his return after the assassination attempt on him. His detention under an unlawful and groundless pretext is a politically motivated arbitrariness and reprisal. The HRC 'Memorial' considers Alexei Navalny a political prisoner and demands his immediate and unconditional release," emphasizes the statement posted on the website of the HRC "Memorial".

This is not the first time when the authorities have used criminal prosecution to suppress political opponents. "However, against this background, the detention of Alexei Navalny on Sunday strikes with cynicism and disregard for even the appearance of the rule of law," notes the HRC "Memorial" in its statement.

Prior to the 2018 presidential election, the Navalny's team opened 63 regional offices, including in Southern Russia – in Astrakhan, Volgograd, Krasnodar, Rostov-on-Don and Stavropol. Navalny's volunteers are called "idealists," says the article by the "Caucasian Knot" entitled "Navalny's volunteers: pre-paid PR or a new political force?"

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on January 18, 2021 at 03:19 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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