Russia responsible for Navalny’s death, UN rights expert says

By Thomson Reuters Mar 11, 2024 | 10:28 AM

GENEVA (Reuters) – The U.N. human rights expert on Russia said on Monday that Alexei Navalny’s death was Moscow’s responsibility as he was either killed in prison or died from detention conditions that amounted to torture.

“So the Russian government is responsible, one way or another, for his death,” Mariana Katzarova told Reuters on the sidelines of an event on Russian political prisoners at the United Nations in Geneva.

Russia’s spy chief previously said that Navalny, who died on Feb. 16 in an Arctic prison, died a natural death.

Katzarova also warned that other detainees in Russia could suffer the same fate as Navalny, saying she was “very worried” about opposition politician Vladimir Kara-Murza among others.

“Ever since the death of Alexei Navalny, there is no day passing without asking myself, who is the next Navalny?” she said. “And there will be a next Navalny, for sure, with this level of repression.”

The Kremlin has portrayed Navalny and his supporters as lawbreakers and tools of the West, acting to destabilise Russia. It has denied his wife Yulia Navalnaya’s accusations that President Vladimir Putin had him killed.

Navalnaya said last week the scale of public support for Navalny since his death was proof that his cause lived on, and called for a massive election day protest against Putin on March 17.

(Reporting by Emma Farge and Cecile Mantovani; editing by Mark Heinrich)