Top French Diplomat Voices Concern Over Rights Violations In Belarus, Navalny Situation

Top French Diplomat Voices Concern Over Rights Violations in Belarus, Navalny Situation

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Wednesday recalled the crisis in Belarus and the situation with Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny in the context of human rights violations worldwide

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 24th February, 2021) French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Wednesday recalled the crisis in Belarus and the situation with Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny in the context of human rights violations worldwide.

"In Belarus [in response] to the democratic aspirations of the people, violence followed. The Russian political opposition leader was the victim of attempted murder using a nerve agent produced by Russia," Le Drian said, speaking via video link at the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council.

The anti-government mass riots in Belarus have been underway since the results of the August 9 presidential election were announced, paving the way for incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko to clinch his sixth term. The rallies against Lukashenko's victory were marred with violence and drew condemnation from countries across the world, in particular, the West.

For its part, Lukashenko's administration called on the Western nations to refrain from meddling in the country's internal affairs and pay attention to their protest-linked issues.

The controversy with Navalny has escalated since his arrival to Moscow last month when he returned from Berlin after receiving medical treatment for an alleged poisoning. The opposition figure was arrested and referred to a court, which in early February rescinded his suspended sentence in the 2014 Yves Rocher fraud case over multiple probation breaches and replaced it with a 3.5-year term behind bars. Navalny's arrest has prompted criticism of the Russian authorities, which in response also urged the condemning states to avoid political prejudice and interference in Russia's internal affairs.