UPDATED 3:45 PM PT – Sunday, January 24, 2021
Demonstrations are being held across the U.S. calling for the immediate release of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny.
On Saturday, hundreds of protesters gathered outside of the Russian consulate in Manhattan, New York.
“Well, they should free him,” a demonstrator stated. “Yeah and maybe listen to him at least a little bit and to their people because Navalny, no matter what you think about him, he doesn’t deserve to be murdered, poisoned or being imprisoned.”
Demonstrators could be seen chanting and holding signs, demanding the Kremlin critic’s release.
This came days after Navalny was detained upon his return to Russia. He spent five months in Germany recovering from alleged poisoning for which he blames the Russian government.
At the same time, dozens of protestors also rallied outside of the Russian Embassy in Washington D.C. in support of the jailed activist.
“He is trying to open the eyes of the Russian people and to show them the level of corruption that is happening in Russia by government officials,” protestor Alexander Voytsekhov said. “They don’t want that to be known by Russian people and that’s the main thing. They want to shut him down and they want to get rid of him.”
Those at the demonstration organized by the ‘Free Russia Foundation’ said many Russian activists are working tirelessly to expose the government and its large scale of corruption.
The U.S. strongly condemns the use of harsh tactics against peaceful protesters and journalists in Russia today. We call on Russia to release those detained for exercising their rights, including Aleksey Navalny, and to credibly investigate his poisoning. https://t.co/FnYRt3RAkQ
— Ned Price (@statedeptspox) January 23, 2021
Thousands of citizens in Russia, including Navalny’s wife, were detained as protests in his support continue to sweep across the nation.
The U.S. has called on Russian authorities to release all of those detained and for the immediate and unconditional release of Navalny.