Week-ending 22 October2021
On 20 October 2021 the European Parliament awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to Aleksei Navalny. Parliament President David Sassoli said: “The European Parliament has chosen Alexei Navalny as the winner of this year’s Sakharov Prize. He has campaigned consistently against the corruption of Vladimir Putin’s regime, and through his social media accounts and political campaigns, Navalny has helped expose abuses and mobilise the support of millions of people across Russia. For this, he was poisoned and thrown in jail. In awarding the Sakharov Prize to Alexei Navalny, we recognise his immense personal bravery and reiterate the European Parliament’s unwavering support for his immediate release.” Vice-President Heidi Hautala said: “This year, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought has been awarded to an advocate for change. Alexei Navalny has shown great courage in his attempts to restore the freedom of choice to the Russian people. For many years, he has fought for human rights and fundamental freedoms in his country. This has cost him his freedom and nearly his life. On behalf of the European Parliament, I call for his immediate and unconditional release.”
European Parliament, 20 October 2021: MEPs have awarded Russian opposition politician and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny the European Parliament’s 2021 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.
The Moscow Times, 20 October 2021: The European Parliament on Wednesday awarded jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny its Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. The award, named after Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, recognizes individuals who have made an “outstanding contribution to protecting freedom of thought,” and is “the highest tribute paid by the EU to human rights work.”
RFE/RL, 20 October 2021: Jailed Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny has been chosen as the winner of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, the European Parliament’s annual human rights prize, for his work to expose corruption and efforts to restrict freedoms in Russia.
RFE/RL, 20 October 2021: A group of 45 countries is pushing Russia to provide a full explanation of the circumstances behind Navalny’s illness, which occurred in August 2020 as he was traveling in Siberia. He was evacuated to Berlin, where doctors saved his life and later identified the poison that nearly killed him.
RFE/RL, 21 October 2021; Russian opposition politician Lyubov Sobol, a close associate of jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny, has been added to Russia’s wanted list after she fled the country days after being found guilty of breaking coronavirus measures.
RFE/RL, 21 October 2021: The Kremlin says is has no “respect” for the decision by European lawmakers to award jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny with the Sakharov Prize, the European Union’s highest human rights honor.
RFE/RL, 21 October 2021: For months, the Kremlin has been trying to convince its citizens and others that opposition leader Aleksei Navalny is just a criminal who ran an extremist organization.
RFE/RL, 22 October 2021: Six officials at the Moscow regional prosecutor’s office have reportedly been fired for liking social media posts by jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), which is banned in the country as extremist.
RFE/RL, 22 October 2021: Russian opposition politician Lyubov Sobol says she doesn’t feel “fully safe” after recently fleeing Russia in the summer, but she insists she will continue to fight against President Vladimir Putin’s “criminal regime” and widespread corruption in her country.