State blasts 'politically motivated' sentence of Alexei Navalny

State blasts 'politically motivated' sentence of Alexei Navalny

March 23, 2022

Biden administration blasts ‘politically motivated’ conviction of Alexei Navalny on ‘spurious charges’ after Russian opposition leader gets 9-year sentence – and says 15,000 Russians have been detained since Putin invaded Ukraine

  • Navalny was already serving a two and a half year sentence for parole violations.
  • He was jailed last year after he left the country for medical treatment following his poisoning with the nerve agent Novichok
  • A Russian court handed down a nine year sentence for fraud and contempt of court
  • State spokesman Ned Price denounced the sentence of Putin opposition leader as ‘politically motivated’ 
  • He said Russia had arrested more than 15,000 citizens amid anti-war protests since its Feb. 20th invasion of Ukraine
  • President Joe Biden heads heads to Europe today to meet with allies in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine 

The State Department is denouncing the nine-year sentence that a Russian court handed down for opposition leader Alexei Navalny amid a fierce Kremlin crackdown on dissent inside the country.

A Russian court convicted Navalny of fraud and contempt of court on Tuesday, as Russian authorities continued to jail and try to silence street protesters who have defied new decrees against criticizing what the Kremlin calls its ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine.

‘We condemn Russian authorities’ politically-motivated conviction and sentencing of opposition leader Aleksey Navalny on additional spurious charges to nine more years in a high security prison,’ State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement released Tuesday night.

‘This outlandish prison term is a continuation of the Kremlin’s years-long assault on Navalny and on his movement for government transparency and accountability. Of course, Navalny’s true crime in the eyes of the Kremlin is his work as an anti-corruption activist and opposition politician, for which he and his associates have been branded “extremists” by Russian authorities,’ he said.

The U.S. denunciation of the sentence came as tweets posted from Navalny’s Twitter account called for action against Vladimir Putin’s ‘war criminals.’ 

The State Department blasted the ‘outlandish prison term’ a Russian court handed down for Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalany

Navalny was given a nine-year sentence Tuesday. ‘Now more than ever, the people of Russia must be able to hear voices of courage and integrity that tell the truth about the Kremlin’s wrongdoing at home and abroad,’ said State spokesman Ned Price

Navalny was already serving a two and a half year sentence for parole violations. He was jailed last year after he left the country for medical treatment following his poisoning with the nerve agent Novichok. 

The State Department put Navalny’s sentencing in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which President Vladimir Putin launched Feb. 24th.

It also Navalny’s ‘near-fatal poisoning with a nerve agent in 2020 by Russia’s security services and his unjust imprisonment since January 2020,’ and Russia’s suppression of free expression. 

‘This campaign has intensified as the Kremlin seeks to hide the truth of its brutal war against Ukraine from its own people. More than 15,000 citizens of Russia have been detained for taking part in anti-war protests since February 24,’ said Price, calling for Russia to ‘unconditionally release’ Navalny. 

‘Now more than ever, the people of Russia must be able to hear voices of courage and integrity that tell the truth about the Kremlin’s wrongdoing at home and abroad.’

Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov defended the sentencing of Putin’s political opponent in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amonpour. She asked him what he and the regime were ‘afraid of.’

Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov defended the sentencing of Putin’s political opponent in an interview, claiming it was purely for an ‘economical crime’

President Joe Biden heads to Europe on Wednesday to meet with allied leaders to counter Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

‘No. Navalny is a prisoner is a prisoner. He had his his first sentence. Now he’s got he’s got his second one. And he’s blamed and then it is proven by the prosecutor’s office, that he’s blamed for fraud. So it’s purely economical crime. He was collecting money by his foundation, from citizens, regular citizens of Russia and also from abroad,’ he said. 

‘And he was spending part of that money for his personal purposes. This is fraud in our country. And he was supposed to be punished and no one is afraid of him. It sits. If people is a criminal, he should be in prison. This is the same thing that is happening in the United States and in European countries,’ he said.

That prompted Amonpour to interject: ‘I know you say that. I know the prosecution says that. But the people who allegedly claimed that he was taking their money and using it for himself then said on the stand that they had been forced to, to make to make those testimonies.’ 

Navalny’s Twitter account said Putin is ‘afraid of the truthko

Navalny said on his Twitter account that Mr Putin is “afraid of the truth”, adding: “Fighting against censorship and bringing the truth to the people of Russia has remained our priority.

“The Kremlin smashes the media, and in response we create new ones.”

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