Judges at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) have ruled that Russia should immediately release Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
The Strasbourg-based ECHR said on Wednesday, February 17, it had ruled on February 16 to “indicate to the Government of Russia…to release the applicant.”
Russian authorities did not immediately comment on the ruling by the ECHR – the international court of the Council of Europe, Europe’s main human rights forum, of which Russia is a member.
But Russia passed a law last year giving its national legislation precedence over international treaties and rulings from international bodies in cases when they conflict with the Russian constitution. Navalny’s allies had earlier published a letter from a member of the court containing its decision which a Navalny ally, Leonid Volkov, said was binding.
Navalny, 44, was detained after returning to Russia from Germany last month and jailed on February 2 for violating the parole terms on what he says was a trumped charge.
He had been treated in Germany for a poisoning with what many Western countries say was a nerve agent in Siberia last August.
Several Western countries have called for his release and said they could impose sanctions against Russia over the case.
Navalny’s lawyers could not immediately be reached for comment. – Rappler.com