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The Board of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum is, with great concern, monitoring the situation of the Anti-Corruption Foundation (ACF), the Citizens’ Rights Protection Foundation (CRPF), the legal entity of the ACF, and the Team Navalny Movement, as well as the leader of these initiatives – Russian politician Alexei Navalny.

We demand that the authorities of the Russian Federation immediately cease their politically motivated attack on the said organisations and allow Alexei Navalny, who has been on hunger strike in a correctional facility and has been left without qualified medical care [1], to be visited by doctors of his choice. Furthermore, we support the resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on Navalny’s arrest and imprisonment, adopted at the meeting of 22 April 2021[2], and call for his immediate release based on the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) from 17 October 2017[3].

On 16 April 2021, the Moscow Prosecutor’s Office filed a lawsuit demanding that ACF, CRPF and the Team Navalny Movement be recognised as extremist organisations. The first court hearing on the case will be held in a closed trial on 26 April[4]. A successful conviction would not only place the organisation and its staff outside the law, but could also subject tens of thousands of Russians who have supported the initiatives’ activities in recent years to criminal prosecution[5].

The decision may also apply to those who participated in demonstrations in support of the politician that were held across Russia on 21 April. As of today, we know about more than 1,790 people detained during the protests, with over 800 detainees in St. Petersburg alone. In many cases, the law enforcement agencies applied violence and beat up participants of the demonstrations[6]).

Along with demanding justice for Alexei Navalny and his organisations, the Board of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum is drawing the attention of international institutions to blatant human rights violations in the Russian Federation against peaceful protesters and is calling on the Council of Europe bodies to protect the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens in line with the norms and standards of international and European law.

22 April 2021

 

Contacts:

Pavel Havlíček, Board Member, EU-Russia Civil Society Forum / AMO – Association for International Affairs (Prague, Czech Republic); pavel.havlicek@amo.cz  

 

Mikhail Tumasov, Board member, EU-Russia Civil Society Forum / Russian LGBT Network
(St. Petersburg, Russia);
thumassov@gmail.com

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