The European Parliament, Amnesty International, and many others have demanded “immediate and unconditional” release of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny1, recently sentenced to remain in prison more than two-and-a-half years2. We strongly support this demand.
High Representative of Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell, due to visit Moscow within days, has declared he will be demanding Navalny immediate release because his arrest “runs counter Russia’s international commitments on rule of law and fundamental freedoms”3.
Amnesty International has also demanded the “immediate and unconditional” release of Catalan leaders Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sánchez on eight occasions4. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions demands their release as well. Spanish and EU authorities have never reacted to such demands.
1. Does the Commission view Amnesty’s opinion on Mr Navalny as relevant? What about Amnesty’s demands regarding Mr Cuixart and Mr Sánchez?
2. Concerning the Navalny’s case, will the Commission take into consideration the opinions of UN bodies such as the Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions?
3. Is the Commission concerned that disregard for opinions by Amnesty and the UN WGAD applying to a Member State undermines Mr Borrell’s credibility to demand the release of Mr Navalny?
1. https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2021/01/russia-aleksei-navalny-becomes-prisoner- of-conscience-after-arrest-on-arrival-in-moscow/
2. https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/russian-court-jails-navalny-sparking- street-protests-and-western-outcry/
4. https://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20201103/49196556573/amnistia-internacional- libertad-nal-jordi-sanchez-jordi-cuixart.html