CNNi: US calls for Russia to release Navalny immediately
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the United States is deeply concerned about the decision of the Russian authorities to sentence opposition leader Alexei Navalny to two years and eight months in prison, replacing him with a suspended sentence..
«Like every citizen of Russia, Mr. Navalny has the rights provided for by the Russian Constitution, and Russia has international obligations to respect equality before the law and the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.», – emphasized Blinken.
«We reiterate our call on the Russian government to immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Navalny and hundreds of other Russian citizens illegally detained in recent weeks for exercising their rights, including the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.», – added the secretary of state.
«The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) concluded that Navalny’s 2014 verdict, which served as the basis for a new verdict, was «arbitrary and unreasonable» and «politically motivated, – stated Blinken. – The current trial against Mr Navalny, which began with his detention on January 17, is a continuation of efforts to violate Mr Navalny’s rights and suppress political pluralism, as previously established by the ECHR.».
«Even as we work with Russia to advance US interests, we will closely coordinate with our allies and partners to hold Russia accountable for failing to respect the rights of its citizens.», – summed up the head of the State Department.
During a briefing on Tuesday, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki also highlighted US concerns about Navalny’s verdict. Among other Moscow actions of concern in Washington, she noted the suppression of peaceful protests, cyberattacks on American departments and business structures, and interference in the presidential election..