United Nations human rights experts, call for an international investigation into the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
They call it likely that the Kremlin was involved in the poisoning last year.
UN experts Agnes Callamard and Irene Khan see the poisoning as a “sinister warning” to dissidents. In a joint statement, they say there must be an international investigation to uncover all the facts and circumstances surrounding Navalny’s poisoning. The Russian authorities have responded “inadequately,” and a banned chemical weapon is involved.
Callamard and Khan are calling on the Russian government to conduct or permit an international investigation. They do this on behalf of the UN, for which they monitor the situation around Navalny as independent experts.
Navalny fell seriously ill during a flight in Russia in August last year. The Kremlin critic was admitted in critical condition to a hospital in Omsk, Russia. After several days, he was taken to a hospital in Germany, where it was found that he had been poisoned with a nerve agent once developed in the Soviet Union.
The 44-year-old opposition leader returned to his home country on January 17, where he was arrested immediately upon arrival. Navalny was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison in February for violating the terms of a previous conviction by staying in Germany. He was found guilty of fraud more than six years ago.