On 20 August 2020, prominent Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was hospitalised in the Russian Federation and transferred to Germany two days later. On 2 September, the German Government officially declared that it had “unequivocal proof” that Mr Navalny had been poisoned with a Novichok-type nerve agent. These conclusions were later confirmed by a French and a Swedish laboratories. Russian authorities have denied any implication into the poisoning and no criminal investigation has been launched in the Russian Federation so far.
This poisoning is not the first life-threatening attack on an opposition figure in the Russian Federation. It has implications on European politics and on the state of democracy and human rights in the Russian Federation.
Recalling the statements made by Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović and Parliamentary Assembly co-rapporteurs on the monitoring of the honouring of obligations and commitments by the Russian Federation, Ria Oomen-Ruijten and Axel Schäfer, having regard to the previous experience of our Organisation in providing a framework for international investigation into politically sensitive crimes, while noting that a report of the Assembly does not replace nor does it intend to replace any investigation – be it national or international, we call on the Assembly to contribute to shedding light on the circumstances of the poisoning of Mr Navalny in a special report.