Alexei Navalny appears in a scene from “Navalny” an official selection of the U.S. Documentary section at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. (Sundance Institute via AP)
UPDATED 8:22 AM PT – Wednesday, January 26, 2022
The State Department called for the immediate and unconditional release of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. On Tuesday, spokesman Ned Price called the decision to add Navalny and eight others to a terror list disturbing. He said that it underscores the collapse of independent civil society in Russia.
According to Price, the designation is supposed to target one of the last remaining independent groups still operating in the country. He said that Russians, like all people, should have a right to gather and form organizations.
“We urge Russia to cease the abuse of ‘extremism’ designations to target non-violent organizations, to end its repression of Mr. Navalny and his supporters, and honor its international obligations to honor human rights and fundamental freedoms,” stated spokesman.
Price also declared that every Russian deserves a right to speak freely as well as deserves free and fair elections.