Russian Court Upholds Prison Term for Putin Critic Navalny - WSJ
Navalny during his trial in 2021 – via WSJ

Alexei Navalny, the widely circulated name that has shaken international politics, continues to be the most captivating case this year. Navalny’s situation is no longer a matter that is confined to Russia, but rather a Human Rights issue that is every being’s business. The oppression that still exists today will not be normalized; Russia’s liberal people must not stand for the injustice that its opposition party leader is facing. Navalny’s free will is hindered; not only did the Russian state attempt to kill him, but its judicial system is failing him.

Navalny during a protest

Powerful voices are constantly being silenced by governments; they could not silence Navalny. Navalny’s anti-Putin views almost cost him his life, his anti-corruption stance almost cost him his life, and most importantly the love he has for his country, almost cost him his life. We all know that politics is the most unpredictable field in the world; yet, after a bit of research we can all assume who was behind Navalny’s poisoning. Navalny’s influence on Russia’s electorate became a reason for fear for Russia’s leaders as he was exposing Russia’s corrupt government and just like they would typically do in dictatorships, they thought they could do in a democracy.

A country’s judicial system is highly dependent on its leaders. A dependant judiciary is never fair and the unjust that Navalny is facing could be recognized easily. Prior to his poisoning, Navalny had been charged with a suspended sentence. Now he is being tried again after not following his initial charge due to the fact that he spent his recovery period in Berlin. It sounds like a joke when the state claims they were not informed of his medical condition considering that news of it conquered every news outlet. Navalny not only had to deal with a violation to his freedom of speech, he also had to cheat death and is now part of an unfair trial.

Navalny’s arrest has caused a great uproar in the free willed Russians which has led to another violation of freedoms by the State. Thousands of citizens have been arrested due to the practice of their freedom of protest. Supporters of the opposition party leader have taken their voices to the street, to defend what they deeply believe in. To them, Navalny represents the rebirth of Russia, the rebirth of true democracy. Thus, in reality they are protesting to protect their right to hope for a better future. True sovereignty should always remain in the hands of the people, a concept free people strive for.

 In conclusion, Navalny’s case is not just a case of silencing anyone who dares speak out against the government. Today it is an international issue in which half of a country’s population are having their most important rights violated. Considering that Russia is part of the Council of Europe, this matter will not be silenced as the Council of Europe member states are advocates for Human Rights. However, Navalny’s situation should be a matter every individual cares about, because if we do not have our freedom of speech then are we really free beings?

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