October 1, 2023

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Russia condemned by ECHR for lack of investigation

Russia condemned by ECHR for lack of investigation

Imprisoned Russian dissident Alexei Navalny received Russia’s condemnation by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Tuesday, June 6. “Lack of efficient investigation” About his poison in 2020.

Judge orders Moscow to pay 40,000 euros to key opponent of President Vladimir Putin “For non-pecuniary damages”. The task of this Court is to apply the European Convention on Human Rights to its 46 members. Russia was withdrawn from it in September 2022 following its invasion of Ukraine, but jurisdiction could still be seized for actions involving Moscow before that date.

All seven judges were unanimous in their judgment “There was indeed a serious and immediate danger to Mr. Navalny’s life in the suspicious circumstances, which gave rise to the duty of the State. (Russian)Under Article 2 of the Convention, to conduct an effective investigation”.

In August 2020, a Russian dissident was poisoned with Novichok (a product developed by the Soviet Union for military purposes in the 1970s) before falling into a coma and having to be put on life support. An expert conducted in Russia concluded that no toxic substance was found in him. After he was transferred to a Berlin hospital, German authorities announced that samples had revealed the undeniable presence of this particularly potent invention poison. These analyzes have been confirmed by other laboratories in France and Sweden.

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Novichok poison

Novichok is banned by the Chemical Weapons Convention, the court said. Under these conditions, Moscow was bound “Initiate criminal investigation into any action contrary to the prohibition on chemical weapons”.

If it does not go so far as to allege that the Russian secret services were responsible for the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, the ECHR insists “The development and use of these chemicals requires time, skills, and a level of organization that is rarely attainable by individuals without any contact with public authorities.”.

The Court observes that Mr. Navalny “A key figure in the political opposition, whose activism, particularly in the fight against corruption, has led to repeated arrests, detentions, criminal convictions and ill-treatment. (…) He is justified in alleging that he was persecuted for political reasons.”.

Repeated threats and attacks

Demonstration in support of Alexei Navalny in Moscow, June 4.

opponent “Already subject to repeated threats and attacks”The judges underlined. “Political motive must have been an essential part of the inquiry. However, Mr. Not only did the investigation not mention any possible connection between Navalny’s facts and public actions, but it did not seriously pursue the thesis of a premeditated attack, even though no medical or forensic tests were found. natural cause”.

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Alexeï Navalny, who celebrated his 47th birthday in prison on Sunday, said he was upbeat despite the tightening of detention conditions. On the same day, Mr. At least 45 people were arrested in Russian cities during pro-Navalny events on his birthday. According to the special NGO OVD-Information.

Alexei Navalny will soon be tried in a new case “Extremism”There he faces an additional 35 years in prison.

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Jailed since January 2021 and returning to Russia after recovering from poisoning, Alexei Navalny believes the new case is a way to keep him behind bars for life.

In March 2021, he was sentenced to nine years in prison on the charges “fraud” He considers it imaginary. From his prison, 200 kilometers from Moscow, he regularly sends messages to his crew describing his detention and condemning Vladimir Putin and his invasion of Ukraine.

The world with AFP