Navalny daughter accepts human rights award on his behalf – WATE 6 On Your Side


GENEVA (AP) – The daughter of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Tuesday accepted a human rights award on behalf of her father for her courage in the face of President Vladimir Putin’s government.

Daria Navalnaya, a 20-year-old student at Stanford University in California, said her father dedicated the Geneva Human Rights Summit Prize for Courage to all political prisoners in Russia and Belarus .

“You should really watch my dad instead, but he’s currently in a Russian prison just because of what he says, does and believes – and because he didn’t die when the Russian government wanted him to.” , Navalnaya said in a video message for the online event.

Navalny was arrested in January on his return from Germany, where he had spent five months recovering from poisoning with a nerve agent he attributes to the Kremlin – charges Russian authorities dismiss. He was sentenced in February to 2.5 years in prison for violating the terms of a suspended sentence resulting from a conviction for embezzlement in 2014 which he denounced as being politically motivated.

He went on a 24-day hunger strike in prison to protest the lack of medical treatment for severe back pain and numbness in his legs, ending it in April after receiving the medical treatment he requested .

Navalny was chosen as this year’s recipient for her annual “courage” award by more than two dozen human rights groups.

Her daughter said her father wrote her a letter behind bars after being chosen.

“In his letter, my father asked me today to present this award to every political prisoner in Russia and Belarus,” Navalnya said.

Also took part in the event Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the main challenger in an August vote in Belarus in which authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko won a sixth term. This victory which was widely considered to be rigged.

In a nod to her father’s sense of humor, Navalnaya said he wrote in the letter, “First and foremost, don’t ruin your first public performance. And secondly, don’t forget to say how extremely proud I am to receive this prestigious award.

Navalnaya, although she is active in blogging and defending her father, has rarely made public appearances.

Navalny received the award for his “extraordinary courage and heroic efforts to sound the alarm bells on the grave human rights violations of the Russian people by the Putin regime,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, who co-organizes the event.

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