EU strongly condemns Russian court's sentencing of opposition figure to another 19 years in prison
'This is a stark indication that the Russian legal system continues to be instrumentalized against Navalny,' says EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell
By Aysu Bicer
LONDON (AA) - The European Union strongly condemned a Russian court’s sentencing on Friday of opposition figure Alexey Navalny to an additional 19 years in prison for actions which constitute legitimate political and anti-corruption activities.
"It also deeply deplores that the court hearings were conducted in a closed setting, inaccessible for his family and observers, in a strict-regime penal colony outside Moscow, where Navalny is already serving politically motivated sentences of a total of 11.5 years," said a statement from the office of EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.
The EU also reiterated its profound concern over the "repeated ill-treatment" of Navalny by prison authorities and emphasized that Russia's political leadership is responsible for this situation.
It also called for Navalny's immediate and unconditional release.
"This is a stark indication that the Russian legal system continues to be instrumentalized against Navalny. It also shows how much Russian authorities are afraid of him. Mr. Navalny is yet another example of the continued systematic crackdown by the Russian authorities and their disregard for the human rights of their own citizens," it added.
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly also called for Navalny's immediate release.
"Alexey Navalny has been sentenced to an additional 19 years in a Russian prison. His abuse shows Russia’s complete disregard for even the most basic of human rights. Dissent cannot be silenced," he said on the social media site X, formerly known as Twitter.
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