Czech President on Navalny: "He paid the ultimate price for his courage"

Hundreds of people paid tribute outside the Russian Embassy in Prague yesterday following the death of the imprisoned opposition leader. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 17.02.2024 09:40:00 (updated on 17.02.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

The reported death of Alexei Navalny, a prominent Russian opposition figure, has triggered mourning and allegations across the globe. Czech President Petr Pavel offered condolences, praising Navalny's courage in confronting the Russian regime in a statement provided to Czech News Agency.

Navalny's demise was announced by news agencies citing the Russian prison service, with the cause of death currently under investigation. President Pavel noted Navalny's role in exposing what he described as the true nature of the Russian government.

"Alexei Navalny paid the highest price for his courage to show Russians and the world the true face of the Russian regime," said the president from a security conference in Munich. "Many other critics of the Russian regime remain in Russian prisons, and we must not be indifferent to their fight for freedom and truth."

Meanwhile, in Prague, around 200 people gathered outside the Russian Embassy at Boris Němcov Square in Prague 6 to pay tribute to Navalny on Friday evening. Demonstrators chanted his name and displayed signs accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of involvement in Navalny's death.

"We will not forget and we will not forgive," read a sign next to a photo of Navalny hung on a tree outside the Embassy, referencing the opposition leader's statements regarding corruption in Russia. Flowers and candles were placed by visitors under the tree, creating an impromptu memorial site.

Among the sentiments expressed by protesters were claims of Putin's direct responsibility for Navalny's death. Banners bearing messages such as "Putin killed Navalny" and "I want the murderers to face justice" were prominently displayed. Demonstrators also held banners in Cyrillic script with the word "murderers."

Navalny's trajectory from vocal critic of the Russian regime to incarcerated dissident has drawn international attention, particularly following his alleged poisoning and subsequent imprisonment upon returning to Russia from Germany.

He had been sentenced to varying prison terms for different offenses, maintaining his innocence throughout and attributing his persecution to government efforts to silence dissent.

As Navalny's death reverberates globally, his legacy continues to provoke debate and condemnation of perceived injustices within the Russian political system. The circumstances surrounding his death at the age of 47 underscore broader concerns about political freedoms and human rights in Russia, prompting calls for thorough investigation and accountability from the international community.

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