Russian dissident politician Aleksei Navalny, who was almost killed in a nerve agent attack last year, has been stripped of his “prisoner of conscience” status by Amnesty International after 15-year-old racist comments were brought to light.
Navalny is currently serving a prison sentence which many assert is punishment for him exposing the corruption of the Russian elite and organizing anti-Vladimir Putin demonstrations.
In August 2020, Navalny was hospitalized after being poisoned with a nerve agent, an attack he blamed on Putin and agents of the Federal Security Service (FSB).
But none of that matters now because Navalny said some mean words 15 years ago.
Despite admitting that the complaints made against Navalny were part of an orchestrated campaign to discredit him, Amnesty International announced that they were stripping Navalny of the “prisoner of conscience” designation anyway.
“We had too many requests; we couldn’t ignore them,” Amnesty spokesman Alexander Artemev told the BBC, despite noting that the issue was “not relevant” in the light of his current political persecution.
“He cannot be a prisoner of conscience: that is someone who never advocates hate or violence or uses hate speech,” Amnesty International added.
Navalny allegedly called for the removal of “everything that bothers us” while referring to immigrants and labeled them “cockroaches,” making him a “white supremacist” according to the complaints.
Apparently, being caught uttering racist statements a decade and a half ago means many on the left will now abandon Navalny and leave him to rot in a Russian jail.
Despite Navalny taking on what many assert to be one of the most dangerously dictatorial regimes in the world, the fact that the Russian dissident allowed some offensive sounds to emerge from his mouth 15 years ago has now sealed his fate.
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Image credit: Omer Messinger via Getty Images