Ref. 121(2021)

Committee of Ministers strongly urges Russian authorities to immediately release Aleksey Navalnyy and quash his and his brother’s convictions

Strasbourg, 10.06.2021 - The Committee of Ministers of the 47-nation Council of Europe has expressed grave concern that Aleksey Navalnyy remains in detention and his conviction in the “Yves Rocher” case still stands.

After examining the Russian Federation’s implementation of the Navalnyye v. Russia judgment from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), the Committee strongly urged the authorities to immediately release Mr Aleksey Navalnyy, to quash his conviction and that of his brother, Oleg Navalnyy, in this case and to reimburse the fine and the civil damages they have paid.

The Committee’s interim resolution on the Navalnyye v. Russia case was published following its latest regular meeting to supervise the execution of judgments from the European Court of Human Rights.

The Committee of Ministers recalled that in this case the ECHR held that the applicants were convicted of acts indistinguishable from regular commercial activities by judicial decisions that were arbitrary, unforeseeable and manifestly unreasonable, in violation of the principle “no crime or punishment without law” and the right to a fair trial.

The Committee underlined that the obligation of restitutio in integrum calls for measures to restore the applicants as far as possible to the position they would have enjoyed had the violations not occurred and that such measures should be compatible with the conclusions and spirit of the Court’s judgments.

It recalled that the just satisfaction awarded in this case has been paid but the reopening of the proceedings has not remedied the violations established and that, furthermore, on 2 February 2021 Mr Aleksey Navalnyy’s suspended sentence, imposed as a result of the arbitrary conviction in this case, was converted into a sentence of real imprisonment.

The Committee of Ministers will resume the consideration of this case at its next meeting on the execution of ECHR judgments in September 2021.

At the meeting, the Committee of Ministers has also examined and adopted decisions on the execution of three other ECHR judgments involving Aleksey Navalnyy: Navalnyy and Ofitserov (the “Kirovles case”), where the European Court found a violation of the right to a fair hearing, and judgments on the cases Navalnyy v. Russia and Navalnyy (No.2) v. Russia (Navalny group).

In the latter two cases, the Court found violations of freedom of assembly and freedom of expression, the right to liberty and security and the right to a fair trial. Moreover, in both cases the Court found that some of the restrictions imposed on the applicant pursued the ulterior purpose of suppressing political pluralism, in violation of the Article 18 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

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