Foreign Minister Maas issued the following statement today (20 October) on the awarding of the 2021 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to Alexei Navalny:
Alexei Navalny symbolises, more than almost any other, what a severe price can be paid by those who engage in political and social activism.
He was poisoned in Russia with a prohibited nerve agent and only just survived this attempted murder. At present, he is serving a brutal sentence in a penal colony following an arbitrary and manifestly unreasonable conviction – as the European Court of Human Rights ruled not long ago. Awarding him this prize also issues an unmistakeable call to Russia to finally release Alexei Navalny!