Statement on concerns relating to the detention of Alexey Navalny

Delivered by Ambassador Anne-Kirsti Karlsen at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 22 April 2021.

Mr. Chair,

Norway is deeply worried by reports of Aleksey Navalny’s worsening health and the very harsh conditions he and other inmates are subject to. This concern is shared by the human rights community, which has described those conditions as amounting to torture.

Navalny still suffers from the effects of his poisoning with the chemical nerve agent Novichok last year, an act which the authorities of the Russian Federation refuse to investigate. Russia's persecution of Navalny threatens his life. We urge the Russian government to grant him immediate access to medical professionals he trusts.

We stand solidly with our partners in demanding that Russia cease its persecution of Aleksey Navalny. Russia's continuing violation of its OSCE commitments and fundamental human rights in this case is deplorable, and we hold the Russian government responsible for ensuring Navalny's well-being and right to life. He must be urgently granted adequate medical aid, and we repeat our demand for his unconditional release from prison.

Thank you