Seek Support from Australian Federal Government to Free Alexei Navalny

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Alexei Navalny, Russia’s opposition leader and prominent anti-corruption activist, was arrested on 17 January, upon his arrival to Moscow after five months in Germany recovering from a near-fatal assassination attack with the chemical weapon Novichok which occurred in Russian city of Tomsk back in August 2020.

The majority of Russian citizens are appalled by this blatant abuse of state power, and demanding freedom for Mr Navalny. The whole world is supporting their demands – from the leaders of the EU, UK and USA, to the countless diasporas and community organisations across continents.

We would like to thank the Minister for Foreign Affairs for expressing concern on behalf of Australia by the arrest of Alexei Navalny and standing with partners in calling on Russian authorities to release Mr Navalny immediately.

On 23 January large-scale peaceful protests were held in over 150 Russian cities and across the world including Australia (Sydney and Melbourne) demanding freedom for Navalny and other political prisoners in Russia. 

Unlike Australia, where the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly was met with support from the local police and secured by the policemen, tens of hundred thousand protesters who poured on the streets in Russia on 23 January faced extreme police brutality and arrests (more than 3,500 were detained, according to monitors).

We, members and friends of the Russian community in Australia, are calling on the Minister for Foreign Affairs, to expand on her expression of concern and to join the international effort of building tangible pressure on the Russian authorities, including summoning the Ambassador of Russia, to release Alexei Navalny, other political prisoners and all those detained during the peaceful protests on 23 January 2021, to respect the right of peaceful assembly secured by The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.