International human rights organization Amnesty International has recognized Aleksei Navalny, detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, a prisoner of conscience.
Aleksei Navalny’s arrest is further evidence that Russian authorities are seeking to silence him. His detention only highlights the need to investigate his allegations that he was poisoned by state agents acting on orders from the highest levels, said Natalia Zviagina, Amnesty International’s Moscow Office Director.
Russian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release prominent Kremlin critic, Aleksei Navalny, detained minutes after he arrived at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport from Berlin, Amnesty International said.
The organization reiterates its call to the Russian authorities to open a criminal investigation into Navalny’s poisoning and ensure that all those responsible are brought to justice in fair trial proceedings.
Aleksei Navalny has been deprived of his liberty for his peaceful political activism and exercising free speech. Amnesty International considers him a prisoner of conscience and calls for his immediate and unconditional release, the organization added.
On Jan. 17, the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service announced the detention of Navalny at the Moscow Sheremetyevo International Airport. Security officials detained the politician during passport control. The lawyer and his wife weren’t allowed to go with him.
Earlier, the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service said that Navalny refuses to fulfill the duties imposed on him by the court and evades the control of the criminal executive inspection. The Service threatened to replace the suspended sentence on the Yves Rocher case with a real one.
The Service drew attention to an article in the Lancet magazine based on materials from the German clinic Charite, according to which the organization’s patient poisoned by Novichok was discharged on Sept. 20, and by Oct. 12, all the consequences of his illness had been eliminated.
Later it became known that the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service put Navalny on the federal wanted list. The Service announced in advance that they were going to detain the politician upon arrival in Russia.
NEWS.ru reported earlier that Berlin responded to Moscow’s inquiries on Navalny.
Navalny let out screams of pain aboard a plane from Tomsk to Moscow on Aug. 20. The aircraft made the emergency landing in Omsk, where the opposition figure was rushed to a hospital. Doctors did not find any trace of a nerve agent or any other poison in his analyzes. Two days later, after his condition stabilized, Navalny was airlifted to the German clinic Charité, where he remained until Sept. 23, and then was discharged.
Navalny’s team believes that he was poisoned. This conclusion is supported in the western countries, which claim that a toxic agent from the Novichok group was used against the blogger. However, Russian doctors insist that no poisons were found in the oppositionist’s body.