On 17 January, five months after being poisoned, Alexei Navalny returned to Moscow only to be immediately arrested. Detained on trumped up charges and denied access to his lawyers, Navalny has been jailed for 30 days for breaching the terms of a suspended sentence from a 2014 conviction, which the European Court of Human Rights ruled to be politically motivated.
Europe’s Liberals from ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen to President of the European Council Charles Michel have been quick to react and condemn the detention of Alexei Navalny. The leaders of both ALDE liberal parties in Russia, YABLOKO and PARNAS, have also expressed their outrage. Rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), including Jacques Maire (ALDE, France), have also called for Navalny’s release.
On 19 January, the European Parliament expressed its concerns by underlining the violation of human rights and urged Russian authorities to release Navalny.
ALDE Party has always stood up against political persecution, especially in Russia.
We called for the freeing political prisoners in Russia and ensuring free and fair elections. We affirmed our support to civil society and for genuine democracy in Russia. We demanded the release of political prisoners in Russia, Azerbaijan and Belarus.
Putin regime failed to assassinate Alexei Navalny. Being arrested on his return to Moscow, we fear for his life. He should be set free immediately. EU 🇪🇺 🇺🇸US need to coordinate pressure! https://t.co/tPZZ9jf6H7— Hans van Baalen (@hansvanbaalen) January 18, 2021
The eyes of the world are on Russia. @RenewEurope has asked for a debate with resolution to be added at the agenda of the @Europarl_EN plenary this week. @navalny must be set free! https://t.co/z0OmWoBBbP— Renew Europe (@RenewEurope) January 17, 2021
The arrest of Navalny is unacceptable and must be condemned. @Europarl_EN has just added this point as a plenary debate to take place tomorrow, accompanied by a resolution. We will demand his immediate release— Dita Charanzová (@charanzova) January 18, 2021
The detainment of Alexey #Navalny upon arrival in Moscow is unacceptable.— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) January 17, 2021
I call on Russian authorities to immediately release him.