Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sen. Blumenthal calls for Alexei Navalny's conviction to be overturned

In a release, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said he wrote to Russian Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak urging "Russian authorities to overturn the conviction of Alexei Navalny – an attorney, activist, and former Yale World Fellow who last week was convicted of embezzlement. The conviction is widely believed to be politically motivated since Navalny is a leading critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his administration."   (scroll down to read the full letter)

“Freedom of the press and the ability to speak openly about political views are crucial elements of a democratic society,” Blumenthal wrote, according to the release. “Sadly, Mr. Navalny’s conviction seems to indicate a lack of political freedom in Russia. I am particularly concerned by statements by the prosecution seeming to indicate that Mr. Navalny was charged due to his outspoken opposition of the Putin administration. Additionally, I am gravely concerned by reports that defense lawyers were not allowed to cross-examine a key prosecution witness and that the judge barred the defense from calling many of its witnesses.”

Blumenthal added, “If Mr. Navalny’s conviction is not reversed upon appeal, it will raise further questions regarding the state of the rule of law in Russia. I ask you to urge Russian authorities to immediately reconsider their decisions to target members of the political opposition and work to restore faith in the legal system. It is in the best interest of democracy not to let Mr. Navalny’s conviction stand.”

Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a RUSSIAN case, under RUSSIAN law about an incident with regard to RUSSIAN law. Their system is different than ours. The accused should know this, and may appeal and/or act accordingly.

Mr. Blumenthal should mind his own business and stay out of it. He is only a US Senator, not an international mediator. There are few potential votes here... and it won't put him in line for the White House.

July 25, 2013 at 10:01 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stay out of the civil war in Syria. Rep. Rogers has the right idea, there is skepticism about who is really using chemical warfare. Do something good for our country. Have we not learned from Vietnam or Irag that we should not kill thousands of our men to be a policeman of the world. Civil wars are fought and America does not need to jump into every one of them. STAY OUT of Syria. PLEASE

September 9, 2013 at 11:50 AM 

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