Alexei Navalny (1976 - 2024), 2021 Sakharov Prize laureate



Alexei Navalny was a Russian opposition politician, anti-corruption activist and major political opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The European Parliament honoured Navalny’s fight with the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2021.

Alexei Navalny’s daughter, Daria Navalnaya, received European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize on behalf of her imprisoned father. In April 2023, MEPs demanded the unconditional release of Navalny, and reiterated concerns over his deteriorating health and the ill-treatment he was subject to. Navalny  died on 16 February 2024 at a Russian corrective colony in the Arctic Circle.

Roberta Metsola, EP President, paid tribute to Navalny stating: “First, they took his freedom. Then, they took his life,” Metsola said. “But his legacy and his struggle will live on in people in Russia and in all of us.”

Following his death the European Parliament’s Conference of Presidents (President and political groups’ leaders) made this statement: "The full responsibility for this murder lays with the Russian state and its President Vladimir Putin in particular. We demand an investigation into the exact circumstances of the death of Alexei Navalny".

"Truth must be told, accountability must be ensured and justice must be served. We demand that the body of Alexei Navalny be returned to his family immediately. Any further delay increases even more the responsibility of the Russian authorities for the death of Alexei Navalny. We demand an international and independent investigation into the exact circumstances of the death of Alexei Navalny", concluded the statement.

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