The European Parliament urges the Russian authorities to release opposition politician Alexei Navalny and other detained demonstrators in a resolution voted on Thursday.
MEPs condemn the detention of opposition politician Alexei Navalny and hundreds of other protestors on 26 March 2017, during what were reckoned to be the largest protests in Russia since the anti-Kremlin demonstrations in 2011 and 2012. They call on the Russian authorities to release and drop the “politically motivated” charges against all detainees and to uphold the basic freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly.
Between 33,000 and 93,000 people took part in the anti-corruption demonstrations initiated by Alexei Navalny’s organization in over 80 cities. Parliament expresses support for Mr Navalny’s initiative to combat corruption and condemns “constant efforts to silence” him, while calling on the Commission, the EEAS and the member states to take action against any attempted money laundering or illegal assets inside the EU and send a “strong common message” on the role of human rights in the EU-Russia relationship.
MEPs further voice doubts about the independence and partiality of the judicial institutions of the Russian Federation and urge them to carry out their duties free of political interference. They call on the Russian authorities to put an end to the harassment, including at judicial level, of journalists, political opponents and political and civil society activists and to fully respect international human rights obligations and the rule of law.