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'Deeply disturbing': Irish government condemns jailing of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny

Navalny was sentenced to nearly three years in prison.

Image: AP/PA Images

THE IRISH GOVERNMENT has condemned the jailing of the Kremlin’s most prominent critic Alexi Navalny.

Navalny was sentenced to nearly three years in prison today when a court decided to turn a 2014 suspended sentence into real jail time.

In a statement this evening, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Ireland condemns the decision by the Russian Authorities to sentence Alexei Navalny to two years and eight months’ in prison.

“The European Court of Human Rights has already determined, in a 2017 judgement, that the conviction on which this sentence is based was arbitrary and manifestly unreasonable.

“The imposition of this sentence is deeply disturbing and is not in keeping Russia’s international human rights obligations,” the department said. “Ireland reiterates the call for the immediate and unconditional release of Mr Navalny.”

More than 1,400 protesters were detained today during rallies supporting Navalny, mostly in Moscow and Saint Petersburg.

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The department said it was also calling for the release of “the citizens and journalists who have been detained for exercising their rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression”.

“Ireland and our EU partners will continue to monitor the situation and will discuss the EU response at our next Foreign Affairs Council meeting.”

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