Statement by Iceland on the arrest and detention of the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny
Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, 1394th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies. Statement delivered by Ragnhildur Arnljótsdóttir.
Thank you, Mr. Chair for giving me the floor.
We would like to join others in expressing our dismay by the arrest and detention of the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny after his arrival in Moscow. We have also stated clearly that the Russian Federation must come clean regarding the circumstances of his poisoning.
Yesterday´s verdict of Mr. Navalny is also deeply disappointing. Silencing political opponents by putting them behind bars is never acceptable & is reminiscent of a grim past. It should be recalled that the basis for the verdict are decisions found to be unjust by the European Court of Human Rights.
I also take the floor today to express our concern over the crackdown on peaceful protests taking place since Mr. Navalny’s arrest across the Russian Federation. The disproportionate level of force reported and the detention of thousands of peaceful protesters and journalists, is deeply troubling. The right to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression are cornerstones of our European Convention of Human Rights.
We continue to call on the Russian Federation to uphold its human rights obligations - the foundation of our Council of Europe – and fully respect their people’s civil & political rights. The Russian Federation must immediately release all peaceful protesters & journalists, as well as Mr. Navalny.
I thank you Mr. Chair.