Russia Rejects Calls From Europe Court To Release Navalny
Umer Jamshaid 12 days ago Thu 18th February 2021 | 12:00 AM
Moscow, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 18th Feb, 2021 ) :Europe's rights court told Russia on Wednesday to release jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny out of concern for his life, but Moscow swiftly rejected the call.
Navalny, President Vladimir Putin's most outspoken opponent, was arrested and jailed upon returning to Russia last month following months of treatment in Germany for a nerve agent poisoning he blames on the Kremlin.
His jailing sparked the largest anti-government demonstrations in years and a new crisis in Russia's ties with the West, whose leaders are demanding the anti-corruption campaigner be set free.
It said that the ruling was taken with "regard to the nature and extent of risk to the applicant's life".
Russia is a member of the Council of Europe, a rights body of which the ECHR is a part. Member states are obliged to enforce ECHR decisions and in the past Russia has done so, including in cases involving Navalny.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Wednesday accused the ECHR of "pressure" on Russia and "interference" in its domestic affairs.
- Back in court on Saturday - Navalny is being held in a Moscow detention centre after a court ruled earlier this month to convert a suspended sentence for fraud he was handed in 2014 to nearly three years in jail over alleged violations of parole terms.
Navalny will be back in court on Saturday to appeal his jailing in that case and in another trial where he is facing charges of defamation for calling a World War II veteran and others who appeared in pro-Kremlin video "traitors".
Navalny fell violently ill on a flight over Siberia last August and was airlifted to Berlin for treatment. Western scientists later concluded that he was poisoned with a Soviet-era nerve toxin, Novichok.
Navalny's allies on Wednesday insisted that Russia must continue to follow the ECHR's decisions.
"This must happen, it simply cannot be otherwise given that the European Convention (on Human Rights) is part of Russian legislation," his lawyer Olga Mikhailova told AFP.
"Russia has always complied with such decisions and will carry it out now," Ivan Zhdanov, a key Navalny aide and lawyer by training, wrote on Telegram.
Other Council of Europe members have refused to enforce the court's rulings, including Turkey which has rejected calls by the court to release a Kurdish political leader and a civil society figure accused of involvement in a 2016 coup attempt.