UPDATED 7:07 AM PT – Thursday, February 4, 2021
The United Nations has called for unconditional release of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, along with the thousands of protesters detained during recent demonstrations.
On Wednesday, the UN Human Rights body said Navalny’s prison sentence is baseless and politically motivated. The intergovernmental organization added, detentions of protesters by the Putin regime contradict the Russian Constitution and its international obligations.
“We are deeply dismayed by the sentencing of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny by a court in Moscow yesterday to two years and eight months imprisonment for allegedly violating the conditions of a 2014 suspended sentence in an embezzlement case that the European Court of Human Rights had already unanimously found to be arbitrary, unfair and manifestly unreasonable,” stated Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
🇷🇺 #Russia: We urge the authorities to immediately release all those detained for exercising their right to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression over the past few weeks of protests. Read 👉 https://t.co/KRTEbKVKOW pic.twitter.com/N5gm7hT5e9
— UN Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) February 3, 2021
The European Union also said the criminal case against Navalny has no real basis behind it. Officials said they may seize personal wealth of Putin regime officials unless Navalny and his supporters are released.