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Our Joint Campaign With Association Russie-Libertes (France) Against The Sentencing Of Alexey Navalny: 42,000 Supporters Worldwide, And Counting! /

    / Наша совместная кампания с французской Ассоциацией Russie-Libertes против тюремного приговора Алексею Навальному: более 42 тысяч подписей под петицией Верховному комиссару ООН по правам человека!

     As most of you know, in June-July 2013, one of Russia’s opposition leaders Alexey Navalny was tried and found guilty on charges of “organizing an embezzlement” that are widely seen as trumped-up and politically motivated. Suffice it to say that Navalny’s crime consisted of decisions made by him in the position of a pro bono adviser to regional governor, i.e. in a role in which he had no decision-making power. In addition, the court violated the fairness of the proceedings by refusing to call upon the witnesses on the defendant’s side.

     On July 13, several days in advance of the sentencing scheduled for July 18, ARA and our French partner, Association Russie-Libertes, decided to appeal to the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, asking her to weigh in on the fairness of the trial and the impending jail term for an opposition leader that would have been the first such sentencing in Russia’s post-Soviet history and would serve to intimidate actual and potential democratic activists and leaders. We launched our petition to the High Commissioner on www.change.org in three versions – Russian, English, and French.

     In a few days, the petition garnered thousands of signatures.  As of today, we have 42,000 supporters all over the world and counting!  And on July 18 and 19, after submitting the petition to the OHCHR Geneva Office, we rallied in protest against the verdict in New York and Washington, with our New York action being the largest in numbers since May 6, 2012!  The rallies and the petition were covered by The Moscow TimesNovaya gazeta, Vedomosti, Bolshoi gorodVoice of America, Radio France Internationale (RFI), and other media.

     While the urgency has subsided with Navalny’s release on July 19, we keep this petition on hand, as the verdict against him has not been overturned, and therefore the threat of a jail term might materialize any day.  In the meantime, we thank the thousands of our friends, hundreds of them in the United States, for supporting our work and the struggle for the rule of law in Russia by signing our petition!

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