The US State Department said on Friday that the international community will hold Russia responsible for “what is happening” to Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, “who is in its custody.”
A statement by the Foreign Ministry spokesman said: “We have informed the Russian government that they are responsible for what happens to Mr. Navalny in their custody, and the international community will hold them accountable.”
On Monday, Navalny’s press secretary, Kira Yarmysh, posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that no news had been heard from the prisoner in the previous six days. Yarmysh also said that he did not appear in court that day.
“This is already the sixth day because we don’t know where Alexei is or what is happening to him,” Yarmysh said.
The White House expressed concerns about the situation.
“He should be released immediately. He should never have been imprisoned in the first place,” White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters. “We will be working with our embassy in Moscow to see how much we can find out.”
The State Department spokesperson also said in their statement that the United States “strongly condemns Russia’s continued malicious targeting of Navalny, Vladimir Kara-Murza, and more than 600 other political prisoners whom Russia continues to unjustly detain.”
The spokesman said: “We will continue to follow their cases closely and call for the release of all those unjustly detained.”
In 2021, Navalny was jailed for nine years on charges including fraud and contempt of court. This year, he was sentenced to another 19 years in prison on extremism charges.
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