Australia sanctions 3 Russian officials over death of opposition figure Navalny

Canberra calls for independent, transparent investigation into circumstances surrounding death of Alexei Navalny in mid-February

11:03 - 1/03/2024 Friday
File Photo
File Photo

Australia on Friday announced it would be imposing additional targeted financial sanctions and travel bans on three Russian officials linked to the prison where opposition figure Alexei Navalny died last month.

In a joint statement, Australian Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Defense and acting Foreign Minister Richard Marles, and Assistant Foreign Minister Tim Watts accused Russian authorities of holding Navalny in sub-zero temperatures.

"Australia holds President Putin and the Russian Government responsible for Mr. Navalny's treatment and death in prison. These sanctions, and those imposed by our partners, reinforce our commitment to accountability for Mr. Navalny's death," said Marles.

He also called for an independent and transparent investigation into the circumstances surrounding Navalny's death.

Australia had imposed sanctions on seven Russian officials earlier on Monday over their alleged involvement in Navalny's "mistreatment."

Navalny, 47, a fierce critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was serving a 19-year term in an Arctic penal colony when officials say he collapsed and died after a walk on Feb. 16. Officials said he was in jail for extremist activities, but most governments refuted the charge and said it was his criticism of Putin that landed him behind bars.

He was arrested in January 2021 upon returning to Moscow after being treated for poisoning in a Berlin hospital. Western countries and Navalny himself blamed Russia for the poisoning, a claim the Kremlin denies.

In August 2021, he was sentenced to 19 years in prison for extremism and other crimes. He was already serving an 11-year and five-month sentence for fraud.

#Alexei Navalny
#Defense Minister Richard Marles
1 month ago