Interfax: Presidential Human Rights Council to conduct independent analysis of Navalny case – Fedotov

Mikhail Fedotov file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 18, 2013) The Russian presidential Human Rights Council will conduct an independent public analysis of the criminal case in which a Kirov court sentenced opposition activist Alexei Navalny to five years in prison on Thursday.

“I have already talked with a number of Council members. I believe the Council will decide to arrange a public legal analysis of this court ruling,” Mikhail Fedotov told Interfax on Thursday.

The analysis findings will be reported to the president, Fedotov said.

“Naturally, the analysis findings will be reported to the president after the sentence takes legal effect. We will consider only the legal aspects of this court case, without addressing its political dimensions,” he said.

The analysis will be conducted based on the same principles the commission followed when it analyzed the second conviction of former Yukos executives Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev, he said.

“This will be gratuity-free public work, which will be of no procedural significance but which will be important so that the country’s leadership can know the experts’ position,” Fedotov said.

Asked whether the Human Rights Council agrees that Navalny can be considered a political prisoner, Fedotov said, “The Council is concerned exclusively about the development of civil society and human rights, and it is not engaged in politics. We never dare make political statements or arrange political analyses,” he said.

The Memorial center, a leading Russian human rights organization, earlier recognized Navalny as a political prisoner.

[featured image is file photo]