Navalny dedicates human rights award to political prisoners in Russia and Belarus 

WION Web Team
Moscow Published: Jun 09, 2021, 01:23 PM(IST)

Alexei Navalny (file photo) Photograph:( AFP )

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Navalny has been imprisoned in a penal colony near Moscow for four months now. He was sentenced to over three years in prison by a Moscow court in February for violating the terms of his probation linked to a 2014 ruling. 

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny received a human rights award on Tuesday, May 8, and he dedicated the prize to all the political prisoners in Russia and Belarus. 

The Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, which is an annual conference sponsored by 25 human rights NGOs all across the globe, gave the Moral Courage Award to Navalny. 

Navalny has been imprisoned in a penal colony near Moscow for four months now. He was sentenced to over three years in prison by a Moscow court in February for violating the terms of his probation linked to a 2014 ruling. 

Navalny's daughter, Daria Navalny, in a virtual speech accepting the award on his behalf, said, “My dad asked me today to give this award to every single political prisoner in Russia and Belarus”. 

Citing a letter she received from her father, she said, “He wrote that most of them are in a much worse situation compared to me because they're not well known or famous. They should know that they are not alone or forgotten about”.

She described herself "as a proud daughter and as a Russian citizen, concerned about the fast downfall of democracy in my country”. 

Navalny will be required to spend two years and eight months in prison as he has served a year on house arrest in 2014. Doctors have expressed concerns about his health while in prison. 

Navalny also temporarily went on a hunger strike at one point to gain access to better medical care. He began refusing food to demand treatment for acute pain in his back that’s spreading to his legs, and an end to prison guards waking him each hour. 

As per his supporters, Navalny had already lost eight kilograms in the three weeks before beginning the hunger strike, taking his weight to 85 kilograms.

(With inputs from agencies)

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