Free Alexey Navalny! Meduza responds to the imprisonment of Russia’s most outspoken opposition politician
Alexey Navalny has been sentenced to prison, as everyone expected. The Russian authorities did not even bother with the semblance of legality. The absurd allegations against this politician ended in a trial that was no less farcical. But the result is no joke: years behind bars.
The authorities are communicating their position directly and shamelessly: Oppositionists who reject the humiliating rules of the game have two options in this country: death or prison. Boris Nemtsov was killed. Alexey Navalny managed to survive, but he was immediately imprisoned once he returned home. This is all very bad news for Russians everywhere.
Navalny is the first person in a long time who has succeeded in challenging Russia’s political monopoly and restoring some level of competition to the nation’s politics, all without the basic opportunity to participate directly in elections. At the same time, and perhaps even more importantly, he gave people hope that changes were possible, at least in the future. Today, that hope is once again illusory.
Free Alexey Navalny!