The Russian judiciary is apparently rushing to court with Kremlin opponent Navalny, who has returned to Moscow at the police station. Internationally, the Russian approach has met with sharp criticism.
Russia’s judiciary has apparently launched an urgent trial against opposition activist Alexei Navalny, who was arrested yesterday. Navalny’s lawyers received a letter about the commencement of court proceedings in the Moscow police building, which was then opened without anyone being able to prepare for it, according to the dpa news agency.
Nawalny’s supporters said police still prevented him from seeing his lawyers. Earlier, Nawalny’s lawyers and employees claimed that there was no sign of opposition.
Navalny complains of “peak of injustice”
Nawalny’s supporters also posted a video of the opposition on Twitter. In it, Navalnyj complained that the judiciary in Russia had reached a new level of “injustice.”
“I’ve often seen him mocking the rule of law, but this grandfather in his bunker is now so afraid (…) that the penal code is simply torn and dumped,” Navalny told the Courtroom improvised. “Grandpa in his bunker” means Russian President Vladimir Putin. “It’s impossible what happens here.”
Navalny flew from Berlin to Moscow on Sunday. He was arrested at the airport. The Russian prison office FSIN accuses him of repeated violations of a five-year suspended sentence. The government opponent should therefore remain in prison until the court decides.
International critique of Russian actions
Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas demanded the immediate release of Navalny. After his recovery, Navalny consciously decided to return to Russia because he saw his personal and political home there. “It is completely incomprehensible that the Russian authorities arrested him as soon as he arrived,” Maas said.
Russia was bound by its own constitution and international obligations to the rule of law and the protection of civil rights. Of course, these principles should also apply to Navalny.
“Victim and perpetrator converted”
Federal Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has also made serious allegations against the government in Moscow. “After Navalny’s arrest, the Russian leadership cynically exchanged perpetrators and victims,” the minister said. “Those responsible for Nawalny’s poison must be held accountable.”
The foreign ministers of Great Britain, France and Italy and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights also called for the immediate release of Nawalny. A similar statement was made by Jake Sullivan, chief adviser to future US President Joe Biden. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he was deeply concerned about Nawalny’s arrest.
Russia rejects criticism
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has rejected any criticism. By attacking Russia, the West is trying to “divert attention from the deep crisis of the liberal development model.”
Navalny was the victim of poisoning in Siberia in August. He was airlifted to Germany and treated at the Berlin Charité. Navalny accuses Russia’s secret service and President Putin personally of being behind his poisoning. The Russian government denies any involvement in the attack