What has been happening to Alexei Navalny once again clearly demonstrates the selective nature of the Russian justice system and its absolute abidance with political manipulation. Those taking such decisions consider people mere figure-heads and appropriated the right to dispose of their destinies in order to implement shameful political technologies: one type today and some other tomorrow. Their tools are punitive justice and blackmail and they are absolutely indifferent to the attitude of the society to continuous lies and propaganda. They value only one thing: their infinite maintenance of power.

The country badly needs independent judiciary and equality of all before the law, revision of the politically motivated Navalny case and other cases of victims of selective application of justice for political and other reasons is required.

However, it is extremely naive to believe that lawful and fair decisions may be adopted in the country under the present policies towards the refusal to comply with the norms of international law and breach of relations with the world and Europe.

A necessary condition for ensuring justice in Russia is a radical change of the present policies imposed on the country in the recent years, rejection of an anti-European way of development for Russia, termination of the war in eastern Ukraine, a civilised solution to the problem of Crimea and the restoration of relations with both the international community and above all, [Russia’s] closest neighbours, modernisation of the political system of our country on the basis of regular alternation of power, political competition, rule of law, separation of authorities and fundamentally different rules of political life.

Only an independent civil society can change the present policies, provided it understands that such policies lead to the deadlock and develop appropriate political will towards deep and systemic changes. A broad social movement aimed at revision of all the unjust decisions of the recent years, including the Navalny case, represents a step in this direction.

We, like many citizens of our country, do not believe in the objectivity and fairness of the verdict to the Navalny brothers. We demand a new trial and sincerely wish Alexei and Oleg Navalny freedom and return to their families.

Grigory Yavlinsky

December 30, 2014, 15:00