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Dozens of Russian lawmakers release open letter in support of jailed opposition politician Alexey Navalny

More than 50 current and former lawmakers at various levels of the Russian government have signed an open letter in support of jailed opposition politician Alexey Navalny.

The statement notes that the deputies represent citizens from regions and cities throughout Russia, and that their constituents include “fans of Alexey Navalny who have supported his political activity and his fight against corruption for years.”

Today, residents of our Motherland are denied their right to voice their protest, which is currently still guaranteed by Article 31 of the Russian Constitution but has effectively been destroyed by federal laws and decrees from regional officials. Even expressing one’s opinion on the Internet carries a high risk of prosecution, whether at an administrative level or at a criminal one. As a result, it seems to you that everything is fine — nobody is protesting or speaking out. Well, we’re speaking out.

The letter demands that authorities stop placing Navalny in a “punishment cell” and subjecting him to other unreasonable penalties “intended to create unbearable detainment conditions.” The deputies also call for Navalny to be allowed to see his relatives and to be given the medical care he needs.

In addition, the lawmakers are demanding a “public and transparent investigation into the legality of the actions related to the threat against Alexey Navalny’s right to life and the loss of his right to personal dignity,” echoing language used in a similar letter released by Russian lawyers on January 17.

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