Alexei Navalny's daughter urges EU to confront Putin as she collects 2021 Sakharov Prize on father's behalf

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Dec 16, 2021, 06:52 PM(IST)

Daughter Alexei Navalny, Daria Navalnaya holds a portrait of her father as she came to receive the Sakharov prize on December 15, 2021. Photograph:( AFP )

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Daria Navalnaya said, 'Although coming here is amazing, it is also probably exactly how mine and my family's worst nightmare looks like'

Daria Navalnaya, daughter of the jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, urged the European Union to stand up to the Russian President Vladimir Putin. Navalnaya collected EU's top human rights prize on behalf of her father — the 2021 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in a ceremony at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday (December 15). 

During the event, the 20-year-old said, "Although coming here is amazing, it is also probably exactly how mine and my family's worst nightmare looks like."

She added, "I don't understand why those who advocate for pragmatic relations with dictators can't simply open some history books. It's very easy to understand the inescapable political law: the pacification of dictators and tyrants never works."

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The 45-year-old Navalny has been held in a corrective labour colony in Russia, since February 2 after returning from Germany in January, where he was recovering from a poisoning attack with a Novichok nerve agent. He is serving part of a three-and-a-half-year sentence, for alleged parole violations. 

Authorities have also launched new probes against him, including a new "extremism" investigation in September that could see him spend up to a decade more in jail. 

"I don't understand why those who advocate for pragmatic relations with dictators can't simply open some history books," Navalnaya told lawmakers. "It's very easy to understand the inescapable political law: the pacification of dictators and tyrants never works."

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"It seems to me that the problem is that the desire to appease the dictator, again and again, to not anger him, to ignore his crimes as long as it's possible is not a pragmatic approach at all. It's time to say it straight. Under the sign of pragmatism, there is cynicism, hypocrisy, and corruption."

What is Sakharov Prize?

The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is named after Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov is awarded every year. 

Past winners include South African President Nelson Mandela, Venezuela’s democratic opposition and Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai. 

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