Russia accountable for Navalny poisoning, rights specialists say

Russia responsible for Navalny poisoning, rights experts say

Special Rapporteurs Agnès Callamard and Irene Khan imagine the politician was poisoned to ship a “clear, sinister warning” to anybody eager to criticize the Government. 

Mr. Navalny fell violently sick on a home flight from Siberia to Moscow final August. He was later flown to Germany the place toxicology studies decided he had been poisoned with Novichok, a Soviet-era nerve agent. On returning to Moscow final month, he was imprisoned for violating a sentence for alleged embezzlement. 

“It is our conclusion that Russia is responsible for the attempted arbitrary killing of Mr. Navalny”, stated Ms. Callamard, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, talking throughout a press convention in Geneva. 

Part of a bigger development 

The unbiased specialists have been appointed by the UN Human Rights Council and aren’t UN employees nor are they paid by the Orgnaization. 

They performed a four-month investigation into the Navalny case and wrote to the Russian authorities final December however by no means obtained a response. Their letter was made public on Monday, in step with Council provisions. 

They stated solely Russia is understood to have developed, saved and used Novichok.  A novel model was used in opposition to Mr. Navalny, suggesting additional improvement of the toxin.  It was additionally “very unlikely” that non-State actors would have the capability to develop or use the nerve agent, or that personal patrons would have the experience to correctly deal with it. 

“It is also the findings of our work that the poisoning and attempted killing of Mr. Navalny, along with the lack of investigation and the denying narratives, are part of a larger trend, ongoing over several decades, of arbitrary killings and attempted killings, including through poisoning, by the Russian authorities of journalists, critics and dissidents and are therefore consistent with an overall pattern of modus operandi”, Ms. Callamard added. 

Sowing worry in opponents 

Mr. Navalny has lengthy been a staunch critic of the Kremlin who repeatedly denounced corruption, stated Ms. Khan, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and safety of the fitting to freedom of opinion and expression.    

He had suffered two earlier chemical assaults previous to the Novichok poisoning, in addition to bodily assaults, threats, harassment, surveillance and legal sanctions. 

“The motive of the poisoning, preceded by a long history of attacks, harassment and trumped up charges, was both to violate the human rights of an individual but also to knock out a political opponent”, she stated. 

“And we believe that there might be a broader purpose to the poisoning. Novichok was chosen precisely to cause fear. And we believe that the poisoning of Mr. Navalny might have been carried out deliberately to send a clear, sinister warning that this would be the fate of anyone else who might criticize and oppose the Government.” 

US report on Kashoggi killing ‘important’ 

The unbiased specialists additionally welcomed a United States report on the October 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Kashoggi, which was issued on Friday. 

The report discovered Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman complicit within the homicide of Mr. Kashoggi, a US everlasting resident, on the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.    

The Biden administration stated it can impose visa bans in opposition to some 76 Saudi people in response. 

“The fact that the report named the quasi head of a State, Mohammed bin Salman, as being responsible for the operation that killed Mr. Jamal Kashoggi is an important demonstration as well on the part of the United States to be transparent”, stated Ms. Callamard, who has lengthy referred to as for an investigation. 

However, she was disenchanted that the report incorporates “nothing new” factually, because it solely supplies an evaluation of circumstantial proof, and that the US authorities haven’t to this point introduced any motion relating to legal responsibility and duty on the a part of the Crown Prince. 

“It is extremely, in my view, problematic if not dangerous to acknowledge someone’s capability and then to tell that someone ‘But we won’t do anything. Please proceed as if we had said nothing’”, she stated, referring to President Joseph Biden’s marketing campaign promise to guard press freedom. 

Elaborating additional, Ms. Khan reported that solely 12 per cent of journalist killings are investigated and prosecuted. 

“I am pleased that the report has been published but very disappointed, very disappointed indeed, that on the issue of accountability, the US has not seen fit to take stronger action at this stage,” she stated.

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