Europe rights court rules arrests of Russia activist Alexei Navalny violated his rights News
© WikiMedia (Evgeny Feldman / Novaya Gazeta)
Europe rights court rules arrests of Russia activist Alexei Navalny violated his rights

The European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that the repeated arrests of Russian lawyer and political activist Alexei Navalny were politically motivated and a violation of his rights.

Navalny stated that he is happy with the outcome but expects Russia to ignore the ruling.

Navalny is a political activist, anti-corruption advocate and blogger. The case he brought concerns several arrests made in 2012 and 2014 at public gatherings and the subsequent proceedings against him for administrative offenses.

In 2012 he was arrested at a gathering protesting the “allegedly rigged Russian presidential election” and again while in a group “discussing current affairs.” In 2014 he was arrested while attending the court session for a group of protesters and then again while attending another public gathering.

Following each of these events he was held in the police station for hours and brought up on charges for “breaching the established procedure for conducting current events” or for “disobeying a lawful police order.” All of these charges led to fines and occasionally 7-15 day stints in jail.

His complaint alleges violations of his right to liberty, right to a fair trial, right to freedom of assembly and other sections of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The court ruled in favor of Navalny on all of his rights allegations. They also ruled that the government had not provided any justification for holding Navalny in the police station following his arrests and that the arrests were not “necessary in a democratic society.” Additionally, Russia is required to pay him €63,000 in damages.

The court now looks to Russia to provide a mechanism to secure the right to peaceful assembly and to show tolerance for these peaceful gatherings.