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Russia’s Navalny nominated for EU rights prize By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO. Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny participates in a Moscow rally on February 29, 2020. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov/File Photo/File Photo

By Robin Emmott

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny was nominated on Monday for the European Parliament’s annual human rights prize as European Union lawmakers sought to keep the public spotlight on his pro-democracy network, which has been banned in Russia.

Navalny is 45 and currently serves a 2 1/2-year sentence for parole violation he believes was faked. Over Navalny’s poisoning, the EU placed sanctions on Russian officials.

Moscow claims that there was no wrongdoing but accuses EU officials of interfering within its domestic affairs.

Peter van Dalen from the Netherlands, centre-right EU lawmaker said to an assembly that “It’s vital that the European Parlament confirm our unwavering support for Navalny” and stressed that Putin is responsible for his well-being.

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Each year the Sakharov prize for freedom of thought, worth 50,000 Euros ($59,000), is presented. It is named after Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov. On Oct. 21 the winner will be revealed, with the award ceremony in December.

The past laureates include Nelson Mandela of South Africa and Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for education.

The 2021 nominations also include Jeanine Anez (Bolivian politician), and Global Witness, an organisation that promotes human rights in Britain.

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