President Putin: Free Aleksei Navalny
On 17 January, prominent Russian anti-corruption and opposition activist Aleksei Navalny was arrested upon his arrival to Moscow after his five months of treatment and recovery in Germany. He had been poisoned by Novichok nerve agent in August 2020.
Aleksei 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 has conducted investigations and published reports alleging and documenting corruption among Russia’s senior officials, prominent politicians and business people. On numerous occasions he has been targeted through intimidation, physical violence, convicted under politically motivated criminal charges and endless administrative proceedings and has spent many months under arrest.
20 August 2020 was a remarkable day. Navalny fell seriously ill during a flight from Tomsk to Moscow. The airplane made an emergency landing and Navalny was hospitalized, in a comitative state. Navalny was transferred to Berlin, Germany for treatment. The independent investigative group Bellingcat published evidence that a group of agents of Russia’s Federal Security Service had been following Navalny for years during his travels, including during his latest trip to Tomsk, and alleged that those agents were responsible for his poisoning.
After his treatment in Berlin, despite the risk of being arrested, Navalny decided to return to Moscow on 17 January. On his return day, riot police arrested dozens of his supporters who were gathering at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport to greet him. At the last minute, his flight was unreasonably redirected to Sheremetyevo Airport. He was arrested at border control. Next day, a court hearing took place inside the police station where he was held, and ruled Navalny to be detained.
Aleksei Navalny's detention is arbitrary and politically motivated. He must be released immediately and unconditionally.
Sign the petition now and urge President Vladimir Putin to use his authority to ensure Aleksei Navalny’s immediate and unconditional release. Tell him to end the intimidation and persecution of Aleksei Navalny and all other critics of the Russian authorities.