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43 countries demand an independent investigation into Alexei Navalny’s death

As many as 43 countries have demanded that Russia facilitate an independent international probe of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s death. The group has also declared that Russian president Vladimir Putin bears most of the responsibility for the fate of Navalny, who was an inmate of the Russian penal colony IK-3 at the time of his death on February 16. As Agence France-Presse reports, the demand has been signed by countries of the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Ukraine.

“We are outraged by the death of the Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, for which the ultimate responsibility lies with President Putin and the Russian authorities. Russia must allow an independent and transparent international investigation into the circumstances of his sudden death,” EU ambassador Lotte Knudsen told the UN human rights body on behalf of 43 countries.

According to Knudsen, “Navalny’s sudden and shocking death is yet another sign of the accelerating and systematic repression in Russia.”

The countries have expressed profound concern with the “systematic crackdown on civil society” and repression against political opposition within Russia and abroad.

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