The UN rights chief known as Tuesday on Moscow to conduct or cooperate with a “thorough, transparent, independent and impartial investigation” into the alleged nerve agent assault on Russian opposition chief Alexei Navalny.
Michelle Bachelet pressured the necessity to unravel the poisoning, after German specialists mentioned they’d “unequivocal proof” that the weapons-grade nerve agent Novichok was used within the assault.
“It is incumbent on the Russian authorities to fully investigate who was responsible for this crime, a very serious crime that was committed on Russian soil,” she mentioned in an announcement.
The 44-year-old anti-corruption campaigner and considered one of President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critics, fell in poor health on a home flight final month and was handled in a Siberian hospital earlier than being evacuated to Berlin.
The assault marked the most recent in an extended line of assassination makes an attempt towards Putin’s critics.
Bachelet pressured Tuesday that “the number of cases of poisoning, or other forms of targeted assassination, of current or former Russian citizens, either within Russia itself or on foreign soil, over the past two decades is profoundly disturbing.”
“And the failure in many cases to hold perpetrators accountable and provide justice for the victims or their families, is also deeply regrettable and hard to explain or justify,” she mentioned.
Germany mentioned final week that toxicology exams performed by its armed forces discovered “unequivocal evidence” that Navalny had been poisoned with the weapons-grade nerve agent Novichok, the substance used within the 2018 assault on former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter within the English metropolis of Salisbury.
Navalny’s associates say the usage of Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, reveals that solely the Russian state may very well be accountable, however the Kremlin fiercely denies any involvement.
Russia had likewise rejected any hyperlink to the Skripal case, in addition to the demise of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, who was poisoned with extremely radioactive polonium-210 at a resort within the British capital.
While UN rights workplace mentioned that they weren’t ready to make direct accusations towards Moscow within the case, Bachelet famous that nerve brokers and radioactive isotopes resembling Novichok and Polonium-210 had been refined substances which are very laborious to pay money for.
“This raises numerous questions,” she mentioned. “Why use substances like these? Who is using them? How did they acquire them?”
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights additionally identified that previous to Navalny’s alleged poisoning, he had repeatedly been harassed, arrested and assaulted both by authorities or by unknown assailants.
“Navalny was clearly someone who needed state protection, even if he was a political thorn in the side of the government,” she mentioned.
“It is not good enough to simply deny he was poisoned, and deny the need for a thorough, independent, impartial and transparent investigation into this assassination attempt,” she mentioned.
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