OSCE/ODIHR Director Link expresses concern over Navalny conviction

09-02-2017, 14:41 | Comments: 0
OSCE/ODIHR Director Link expresses concern over Navalny convictionMichael Georg Link, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), today expressed concern over the conviction by a Kirov court of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny on charges of embezzlement.

“I fear that Alexei Navalny’s conviction today is just the latest case of the courts being used to exclude certain individuals from the political arena, in what is an unfair limitation both of those individuals’ rights and of genuine political choice,” the ODIHR Director said.

“Just this past week, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg criticized past arbitrary arrests as having violated Navalny’s rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly,” Director Link added. “The European Court also ruled that he had been denied the right to a fair trial. Today’s ruling in Kirov appears to have been handed down with the purpose of limiting his political rights – including the right to stand for office – as well.”

Although it is likely that Navalny will face no jail time, as prosecutors in the trial have asked for a suspended sentence, under Russian law the conviction would disqualify him from running as a candidate in next year’s presidential election.

osce.org

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