Navalny’s arrest and detention warrants a global response

Russian politician and anti-corruption activist Aleksei Navalny was arrested on 17 January 2021 after arriving from Germany at Sheremetyevo airport and remanded in custody for 30 days. His arrest and detention are arbitrary and politically motivated.

Navalny is a prominent and vocal government critic. Like many others in Russia, he has been arbitrarily targeted and now deprived of his liberty for his peaceful political activism and for exercising his right to freedom of expression.

Navalny himself has been arrested numerous times, including for calling for or participating in peaceful protest. He spent 10 months under house arrest in 2014, in addition to a total of several months under so-called “administrative arrest”. He is a prisoner of conscience and must be released immediately and unconditionally.

Amnesty International is also monitoring the peaceful protests that have been taking place since his arrest. On 31 January, at least 4,000 peaceful protesters were detained in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and other Russian cities, during brutal dispersals of rallies demanding the release of Navalny. We are concerned by the unlawful use of force by police, including vilent dispersals. 

Navalny’s arrest and detention is a blight on the Russian government. The world is watching this case and such, it warrants a global response. Amnesty International Australia has asked Foreign Minister Marise Payne to raise this with the Russian Ambassador to Australia.

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Joel MacKay is a campaigner at Amnesty International Australia.