Tell Vladimir Putin to stop the slow killing of Aleksei Navalny — We Need You to Take Action
Photo Credit: Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
“Russia, the Russian authorities, may be placing [Navalny] into a situation of a slow death and seeking to hide what is happening to him.” That’s how Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agnès Callamard publicly described the Kremlin’s actions. She would know. For three years before joining Amnesty, Agnes Callamard served as the UN's point person on extrajudicial killings, shedding the spotlight on governments around the world seeking to execute and disappear their political opponents. Now, she’s calling on the world to take action to help Navalny before it’s too late.
Aleksei Navalny is an anti-corruption activist and a prominent opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin. In August 2020, he nearly died while aboard a plane over Siberia after he was poisoned. Independent experts have confirmed that he was exposed to a toxic chemical from the Noivchok group, a prohibited nerve agent. Navalny was rushed to recuperate in Berlin, where he was placed in a medically induced coma. Upon returning to Russia in January 2021, he was arbitrarily arrested and thrown in prison. Authorities absurdly accused him of failing to report to the probationary officer while he was incapacitated in Germany and replaced his parole with a real prison sentence passed in an unfair trial.
Since the start of his detention, his health has deteriorated rapidly. Navalny has complained of debilitating pain in his back and numbness in his legs. Russian prison authorities have repeatedly refused to grant him access to a medical professional of his choice, instead subjecting him to sleep deprivation. To protest his mistreatment, Navalny declared a hunger strike on March 31st. His condition continues to worsen every day and, based on his test results, independent medics have said that he is at risk of organ failure.
He is not alone. This week, thousands of people gathered in Russia to demand his freedom. Authorities arrested over 1,700 peaceful protestors, and subjected some of them to torture but could not break their will: people across Russia are planning additional peaceful demonstrations. They need to know they’re not alone. Email or message the Russian embassy and tell them you will not stay silent while the Kremlin tortures and kills a political opponent for daring to dissent.