Aleksei Navalny is a prominent Russian opposition figure and anti-corruption activist, who has been unlawfully detained and is now serving an additional term of nine years on top of a previous sentence of two and a half years in prison. He must be freed immediately and unconditionally.
On 20 August 2020, Aleksei Navalny fell seriously ill during a flight to Moscow. Experts from several countries later concluded that he had been poisoned by a prohibited military grade nerve agent Novichok. On 22 August he was evacuated to Germany for treatment, unconscious and in a critical condition. Navalny returned to Russia on 17 January 2021. He was immediately taken into custody and accused by the authorities of failing to report to his probation officer, on account of his past sentence under politically-motivated charges, during the time when he was receiving life-saving treatment in Germany. A court in Moscow ruled to imprison Aleksei Navalny for 2 years and 8 months (subsequently reduced by two months) for “violation of terms of a suspended sentence”. This, however, would not be the end of the governemnt's reprsials against Aleksei Navalny.
On March 22, 2022, the Lefortovo District Court of Moscow delivered its verdict at a hearing held in penal colony IK-2 in Pokrov, Vladimir Region, where Aleksei Navalny is serving his previous, arbitrary 2.5-year sentence. The court found him guilty of “fraud on an especially large scale” and “contempt of court”. He was accused of siphoning off approximately US$ 25,000 from donations to organizations he founded. Amnesty International analyzed the case and concluded that this prosecution was politically motivated and based on the arbitrary application of law which wrongfully criminalized Aleksei Navalny.
A further case agauinst Aleksei Navalny is still pending. In September 2021 the authorities opened a new criminal case against him and his associates under the trumped-up charge of creating an “extremist association.” The Anti-Corruption Foundation and the Citizens’ Rights Protection Foundation, both founded by Navalny, were arbitrarily officially labelled “extremist” and banned in June 2021.
Aleksei Navalny has suffered from serious health problems in prison. He was diagnosed by prison doctors with a double hernia in his spine. His condition may be further complicated by after-effects of his poisoning. For months, he has been denied adequate medical care he requires and repeatedly refused access to medical doctors of his choice.
Russian authorities refuse to release him despite the unlawfulness of his detention and the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights that he should be freed immediately.
Sign the petition now and urge President Vladimir Putin to ensure Aleksei Navlany is released immediately and unconditionally. Tell him to end the ongoing intimidation and persecution of Aleksei Navalny and all other government critics.