U.N. dismayed at Navalny sentence, calls for release of protesters

FILE PHOTO: Law enforcement officers detain a person during a demonstration after Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was sentenced to three and a half years in jail, in Moscow, Russia February 2, 2021. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

GENEVA (Reuters) – The U.N. human rights office voiced deep dismay on Wednesday at the sentencing of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny and called for the immediate release of peaceful protesters, including some 1,400 arrested on Tuesday.

A Moscow court jailed Navalny for a three-and-a-half-years on Tuesday – although his lawyer said the anti-corruption blogger would actually serve two years and eight months because of time already spent under house arrest.

U.N. human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said in a statement that his sentence was for allegedly violating the conditions of a 2014 suspended sentence in an embezzlement case “that the European Court of Human Rights had in 2017 already unanimously found to be arbitrary, unfair and manifestly unreasonable”.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Alison Williams

Source: Reuters

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