The arbitrary arrest and imprisonment of Russian prominent anti-corruption campaigner and opposition figure Aleksei Navalny, and the concurrent arrests and detention on spurious charges of his colleagues from the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), civil society activists and peaceful protesters during mass public protests held at the beginning of the year and in smaller protests that followed, are the latest in a series of severe, brazen reprisals against all forms of dissent in Russia. The prosecution of Aleksei Navalny and of his colleagues and supporters is politically motivated and their deprivation of liberty is unlawful. They are being held in detention solely for their peaceful political activism and their exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. They must be immediately released.
Ahead of the Spring Session of the Parliamentary Assembly, Amnesty International calls on the Council of Europe main bodies to pay close attention to these concerning developments, condemn them in the strongest terms, and call for the immediate release of all those detained for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.