Sakharov [nid:114282]

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is the EPP Group’s candidate for this year’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, the EPP Group decided at its Group meeting this evening.

“The Kremlin's attempts to eliminate Alexei Navalny show the real face of Mr Putin and the inner circle of his regime. They fear losing power, they have no scruples to maintain power at all costs and are waging a war against the people. Alexei Navalny showed great courage in order to restore the freedom of choice back to the Russian people and fought for many years for human rights, freedom of speech and thought, civic freedoms and against corruption. His deeds and determination fully deserve to be awarded with the Sakharov Prize”, said Sandra Kalniete MEP, Vice-Chairwoman of the EPP Group in charge of foreign affairs.

“The EPP Group has strongly condemned the attempted assassination of Alexei Navalny as well as the decision of a Russian court sentencing him to prison. This decision is a travesty of justice. Alexei Navalny must be immediately and unconditionally released, regardless of this politically-motivated sentence. All those responsible for the attacks against him and those who participated in the mockery of a fair trial must appear on the EU sanctions list”, Kalniete concluded.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 179 Members from all EU Member States

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