Russia should release the Kremlin critic immediately, demands the European Court of Human Rights. One feared for Navalny’s life. The Kremlin immediately refused.
According to the imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, the European Court of Human Rights has asked Russia to release him immediately. Navalny published the decision from Strasbourg on his website on Wednesday. The Strasbourg court confirmed the decision at the request of the AFP news agency and briefly tweeted the document itself:
The order of the Human Rights Court applies “with immediate effect”, it says in the decision. The reason given by the court was risks to Navalny’s life.
Kremlin speaks of unprecedented interference
Russia immediately rejected Navalny’s release. The judgment was “unfounded and unlawful,” said Justice Minister Konstantin Tschuitschenko on Wednesday. According to Russian news agencies, he also spoke of unprecedented interference in the country’s judicial system.
Navalny was hospitalized in Germany after a poison attack on him last August, for which he blames the Russian government. He was arrested immediately after returning to Russia in January.
A Moscow court subsequently sentenced him to almost three years in a penal colony for allegedly violating probation conditions in 2014. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Russia for Navalny’s release and against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russia elects new parliament on September 19th
Russia will elect a new parliament on September 19th. In the vote, the Kremlin United Russia party wants to defend its absolute majority. International election observers repeatedly complain about manipulation in Russia.
In addition to the LDPR, the Communist factions and the Just Russia Party are among the political forces in parliament that are loyal to the Kremlin. There is no real opposition in the State Duma that criticizes the power apparatus. Government critics accuse the Kremlin party of gaining supremacy in parliament through systematic electoral fraud.
Navalny, who describes United Russia as a corrupt “party of crooks and thieves”, wanted to make a new attempt this year to break the monopoly of power. The liberal opposition party Yabloko also wants to apply for seats in parliament. However, it is unclear whether members of the opposition will even be admitted as candidates.