MOSCOW (AP) – The Kremlin on Thursday strongly rejected the choice of the European Courtroom of Human Rights to launch jailed opposition chief Alexei Navalny as “unacceptable” interference in Russian affairs.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned Tuesday’s choice by the European Courtroom of Human Rights, which demanded that Russia instantly launch Navalny, was “unlawful” and one-sided.
Talking on a convention name with journalists, Peskov denounced what he described as “the Strasbourg-based court docket’s interference in Russian justice, which we take into account inadmissible”.
Navalny, 44, an anti-corruption investigator and most outstanding critic of President Vladimir Putin, was arrested final month upon his return from Germany, the place he spent 5 months recovering from poisoning with a nerve agent that ‘he attributes to the Kremlin. Russian authorities dismissed the accusation.
Earlier this month, a Moscow court docket sentenced Navalny to 2 years and eight months in jail for violating the phrases of his probation whereas convalescing in Germany. The sentence stems from a 2014 conviction for embezzlement that Navalny dismissed as fabricated and which the European Courtroom dominated unlawful.
In Tuesday’s choice, the ECHR ordered the Russian authorities to launch Navalny, citing “the character and extent of the chance to the applicant’s life”. The Strasbourg-based court docket famous that Navalny disputed the Russian authorities’ argument that that they had taken ample measures to safeguard his life and well-being in detention after the assault by a nerve agent.
Previously, Moscow has complied with ECHR rulings awarding compensation to Russian residents who’ve challenged verdicts in Russian courts, however it has by no means confronted a request from the European Courtroom to launch a convict.
Following its simmering irritation on the verdicts of the European Courtroom, Russia final 12 months handed a constitutional modification declaring the precedence of home laws over worldwide legislation. The Russian authorities might now use this provision to reject the choice of the ECHR.
Navalny’s chief strategist Leonid Volkov, nonetheless, argued that Russia’s membership of the Council of Europe obliges it to respect the court docket ruling. He warned on Fb that the nation risked dropping its membership within the continent’s predominant human rights group if it didn’t respect the order.
Requested through the convention name with reporters whether or not Russia might depart the Council of Europe, Peskov replied that “we’re not searching for a confrontation”.
However Pyotr Tolstoy, vice-president of the decrease home of the Russian parliament who led his delegation to the Parliamentary Meeting of the Council of Europe, warned on Thursday that Moscow might depart the discussion board if it had been to come back beneath stress.
“If it contradicts our views on our sovereignty and dignity, we’ll take a corresponding choice and depart earlier than they begin this totally shameful course of,” Tolstoy mentioned in televised remarks.
Navalny’s arrest and imprisonment fueled a wave of protests throughout Russia. Authorities responded with sweeping crackdowns, detaining round 11,000 folks, lots of whom had been fined or jail phrases starting from seven to fifteen days.
Russia has dismissed Western criticism of Navalny’s arrest and crackdown on protests as interference in its inner affairs.
In a sarcastic Fb submit on Thursday, Navalny mentioned jail authorities notified him he was thought-about a flight danger.
“I began laughing,” mentioned Navalny, who’s being held in Matrosskaya Tishina most safety jail in Moscow. “After which I requested them, ‘Is that this a joke? I have been escorted by SWAT troops in helmets carrying assault rifles earlier than, and now they’re in all probability going to place me in chains. ”