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Canada and around 40 countries call for international investigation into Navalny's death

Photo: Associated Press The day after Alexei Navalny's funeral on Friday in Moscow, several hundred people gathered near his grave.

France Media Agency in Geneva

2:39 p.m.

  • Europe

Around forty countries, including those members of the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, launched a joint call on Monday for an international investigation into the death of Russian opponent Alexeï Navalny, for whom they attribute ultimate responsibility to President Vladimir Putin.

“We are outraged by the death of opposition politician Alexei Navalny, whose ultimate responsibility lies with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and the Russian authorities,” European Union Ambassador Lotte Knudsen said before the Human Rights Council in Geneva, speaking on behalf of the 43 countries.

A fierce critic of Vladimir Putin, Alexei Navalny died on February 16 in unclear circumstances in an Arctic penal colony, where he was serving a 19-year prison sentence for “extremism,” and was buried Friday in Moscow. His death sparked a wave of condemnation in the West.

“Russia must authorize an independent and transparent international investigation into the circumstances of this sudden death”, believe the 43 States, assuring in a press release that this death constituted a “new sign of the growing and systematic repression in Russia”.< /p>

These states are urging Russia more generally to release political prisoners, journalists, human rights defenders and opponents of the war in Ukraine.

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“We call on the Russian Federation to end this climate of impunity and create a safe environment for political opposition and critical voices,” they write.

They also called on Russia to “abolish its oppressive legislation” and “end the political misuse of justice.”

“Russian political leaders and authorities must be held accountable,” insisted Ms. Knudsen, according to whom “Navalny’s courage, sacrifice and unwavering commitment to justice, freedom and democracy will never be forgotten.”

Putting “an end to repression”

The death of Alexeï Navalny “adds to my serious concerns regarding his persecution”, commented the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk.

In the run-up to this month's presidential election in Russia, in which, he lamented, several candidates were prevented from running due to alleged administrative irregularities, Russian authorities have further intensified repression dissenting voices.

“Since the start of Russia's war against Ukraine, thousands of politicians, journalists, human rights defenders, lawyers and people who simply expressed their opinion on social networks have been the subject of administrative and criminal proceedings and this trend seems to have worsened in recent months”, noted Mr. Türk.

“I call for a rapid and comprehensive review of all cases of deprivation of liberty resulting from the exercise of fundamental freedoms, as well as an immediate end to the repression of independent voices and the legal professionals who represent them,” he added.

Responding to Volker Türk, the Russian representative accused the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights of making “anti-Russian reports” that “reproduce Ukrainian and Western inventions”.< /p>

“There is no shortage of blatantly false documents targeting our country. This seems particularly cynical,” he continued, calling on Mr. Türk and his office to “start giving an objective assessment of the situation in the world.”

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116