Alexei Navalny's arrest speaks volumes about Vladimir Putin's regime in Russia – Angus Robertson

The arrest of Russian opposition leader Alex Navalney is a stark reminder of what kind of regime rules in Moscow.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny waits for a court hearing in a police station in Khimki, Moscow, following his arrest (Picture: @Kira_Yarmysh via AP)

Having attempted to poison and kill the 44-year-old anti-corruption campaigner, the authorities carted him away when he landed in the Russian capital on his return from medical treatment in western Europe.

Navalney was the target of Novichok poisoning last year, the same nerve agent used to try and kill Russian exiles Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury.

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Navalney survived after being flown to Germany to receive specialist medical help. Now the Russian authorities want to charge him with parole violations for the time he was in hospital and recovering.

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It is a blatant attempt to silence Navalny and stifle the opposition to President Vladimir Putin. It is sadly reminiscent of how dissidents were treated during the Soviet Union.

Now countries around the world are calling for Navalny’s release as are Amnesty International who issued the following statement: “Alexei Navalny has been deprived of his liberty for his peaceful political activism and exercising free speech.

"Amnesty International considers him a prisoner of conscience and calls for his immediate and unconditional release. The organisation reiterates its call to the Russian authorities to open a criminal investigation into Navalny’s poisoning and ensure that all those responsible are brought to justice in fair trial proceedings.”

Russia will only end its campaign of intimidation and political persecution because of global pressure. The international community must stand strong and let President Putin know he won’t get away with it.

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