Christoph Strässer, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, issued the following statement in Berlin today (30 December) on today’s verdict against the Russian opposition activist, Alexei Navalny:
I am dismayed by the criminal proceedings and the new verdict against Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny and his brother Oleg Navalny. The court ruling is a further blow against Russia’s critical civil society. It is the task of the Russian Government to ensure due process and to uphold the independence of the courts.
Alexei Navalny is attempting, in a non‑violent and peaceful way, to exert his right to freedom of expression. He must be allowed to remain politically active.
I call on the Russian Government to address the criticism of this case by human rights organisations and to allow peaceful public protests against the verdict.