The international human rights organization Amnesty International explained the refusal to consider Alexei Navalny (the founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, included by the Ministry of Justice in the register of organizations performing the functions of a foreign agent) a “prisoner of conscience”. The corresponding statement was published on the organization's website.
It says that human rights defenders conducted a thorough analysis of the evidence base and came to the conclusion that “they were mistaken in the original definition”. “In making this decision, we focused solely on the circumstances surrounding Navalny's unfair arrest and detention, and underlined some of his previous comments, which Amnesty knows were not publicly rejected. We have come to the conclusion that some of them have reached the threshold of hate speech, which is at odds with our definition of a prisoner of conscience, and have made an internal decision to refrain from using this term in the future, ”Amnesty International said.
On February 25, prankers Vovan (Vladimir Kuznetsov) and Lexus (Alexei Stolyarov) announced that they had held a video conference with representatives of Amnesty International on behalf of Leonid Volkov, who heads Navalny's regional headquarters network. The interlocutors of the prankers said that the decision to grant the Russian opposition the status of a “prisoner of conscience” at the end of January was probably hasty and did “more harm than good.”
It became known on 23 February that Amnesty International refused to consider Navalny a “prisoner of conscience”. The letter from the organization said that the Russian “advocated violence and discrimination and did not abandon these statements.”
Amnesty International recognized Navalny as a prisoner of conscience in 2012. The organization also awarded him this status after being detained at Sheremetyevo airport on January 17, 2021.
On February 2, the Simonovsky Court of Moscow replaced Navalny's suspended sentence with a real one for violating the conditions for observing the probationary period in the Yves Rocher case. The Federal Penitentiary Service asked to appoint him a sentence of imprisonment in a colony for a period of 3.5 years. Navalny was charged with 60 violations of public order after a suspended sentence. In the colony, according to the decision of the Moscow City Court of February 20, he will stay for 2.5 years.