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Meduza demands Alexey Navalny’s immediate release from prison

Source: Meduza
Polina Ivanova / Reuters / Scanpix / LETA

Alexey Navalny returned to Russia last weekend, despite the near certainty that he would be arrested upon arrival in Moscow and probably thrown in prison.

Not everyone understands why he did it. Most likely, Navalny came back because he doesn’t believe in living in fear and refuses to trade his freedom for a life in exile. The stakes couldn’t have been clearer after the Russian authorities fabricated entirely new felony allegations and declared that Navalny had “violated the terms of his parole” by staying in Germany to recover from being poisoned. 

“He needs to be watched, not poisoned,” Vladimir Putin told journalists when asked last month about the attack against Navalny. The Russian state is now fulfilling the president’s wishes to the utmost: Navalny is under observation, alone in a prison cell. Many expect his 30-day pretrial detention to become years behind bars.

What happens next to Navalny is anybody’s guess, but his situation is clearly dangerous. Over the years, government authorities have arrested Navalny repeatedly. They’ve held him in jail and dragged him into court. In 2020, they exposed him to a deadly poison and were likely disappointed that he survived. 

The people who now serve the Russian state are holding Alexey Navalny captive. Given the history, there is good reason to fear for his health and safety. 

Navalny’s remarkable bravery has earned him a reputation among many in Russia and around the world as a true hero. Here at Meduza, we’re just ordinary people. And we worry about what will happen to Navalny in prison.

With all this in mind, we demand Alexey Navalny’s immediate release.

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