Justin Bullock, FISM News
The US will soon be imposing additional sanctions on Russia for their treatment of political dissident Alexei Navalny and Russian groups and citizens associated with him. Russia has persecuted Navalny for being an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin and the Russian government in general. This persecution has ranged from imprisonment in brutal conditions to assassination attempts.
White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan told CNN’s “State of the Union” show that the US will be imposing additional sanctions on Russia:
We are preparing another package of sanctions to apply in this case… We’ve shown all along the way that we are not going to pull our punches, whether it’s on SolarWinds, or election interference, or Navalny when it comes to responding to Russia’s harmful activities.
Sullivan did not indicate the particulars of the new sanctions but did say that the White House is doing their due diligence in the matter in order to ensure that the sanctions apply to the best targets. Navalny is currently still imprisoned after being arrested in January of this year. His imprisonment has been condemned by many in the international community and was a topic of discussion at the meeting between Biden and Putin last week.
The United Nation’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, spoke on the Navalny situation to the Human Rights Council and criticized Russia:
Legislation restricting the freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly and association should be brought in line with international human rights norms and standards… I further urge the authorities to end the arbitrary practice of labelling ordinary individuals, journalists, and non-governmental organizations as ‘extremists’, ‘foreign agents’ or ‘undesirable organizations’,
The hope is that the condemnations and sanctions will result in Russia releasing Navalny and allow to him to peacefully express his criticisms of Putin and the government at large. However, Russia has repeatedly denied all accusations of wrong doing and maintained that they are treating Navalny humanely even though Navalny represents a threat to the Russian government. Putin also defended the Navalny situation in the recent summit with Biden where he compared the jailing of Navalny with the charges filed against those who participated in the Capitol riots in the US.
For now, it appears that no resolution to this miscarriage of justice will be achieved any time soon.