Navalny .. new charges and Blinken "Worried"

Washington (AFP) – 02/16/2022. 09:42

Blinken calls on Russia to release Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny

  • Navalny and his associates “targeted for their work highlighting official corruption”
  • Navalny faces a new case and may be sentenced to ten years in prison

The US Secretary of State expressedAnthony BlinkenOn his “concern over the new and suspicious accusations” leveled against the imprisoned Russian dissidentAlexei NavalnyHe called on the Russian authorities to release him.

Blinken said in a tweet on Twitter that Navalny and his companions were “targeted because of their work in highlighting official corruption,” adding, “The Russian authorities should release Navalny and end their pursuit and harassment of his supporters.”

The Russian opposition leader had said on Tuesday that he would continue his fight against the Kremlin on the first day of a trial in a new case in which he faces an additional 10 years in prison.

And last year, the Russian authorities suppressed the movement of the most prominent opponents of the Kremlin, ordered its ban, and launched several prosecutions against its cadres.

Navalny, 45, was previously sentenced to two and a half years in prison in February 2021 in a fraud case that he considered politicized and fabricated.

The Russian opposition leader is currently serving his sentence in a prison complex in Pokrov, 100 kilometers east of Moscow. It is from this prison that this trial, which began on Tuesday, is held, in an exceptional measure condemned by the opposition’s supporters.

Investigators accuse Alexei Navalny of embezzling more than $4.1 million in donations made to his political organizations for personal purposes. His sentence may be up to ten years in prison.

In the second case, Navalny faces up to six months in prison for “insulting” a Russian judge during a hearing last year. Both cases are being heard before the same court.

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