Amnesty had withdrawn Navalny’s appointment in February, arguing that his previous comments were described as a defense of hatred.
Amnesty International has apologized to jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny for removing him from his “conscience” status and said he would restore the appointment.
Amnesty announced on February 24 that it would no longer refer to Navalny as a prisoner of conscience on the grounds that in the past it had made comments describing it as hate defense.
“After careful assessment, Amnesty International has decided to re-appoint Alexei Navalny as a ‘conscience’,” the advocacy group said in a statement on its website on Friday.
“Amnesty International took the wrong decision, which called into question our intentions and motives at a critical time, and apologizes for the negative impacts this has had personally on Alexei Navalny,” the statement said.
We re-appoint Alexei Navalny as a prisoner of conscience. He has been imprisoned for demanding a government free of corruption, the right to equal participation in public life for himself and his supporters. They are acts of consciousness.#FreeNavalny now. pic.twitter.com/vOR3MpmIaf
– Amnesty International (@amnesty) May 7, 2021
The 44-year-old Russian opposition politician was arrested in January and sentenced to prison for parole violations which he shouted over.
Leonid Volkov, Navalny’s chief of staff, said on Twitter that “the ability to recognize mistakes and move on is the most important thing that distinguishes normal people from Putins.”
Navalny has been criticized for the past nationalist statements against irregular immigration and for attending an annual nationalist march several years ago.
Amnesty said it had reviewed its process for appointing people as prisoners of conscience and would no longer remove the designation solely on the basis of their past conduct.
“Some of Navalny’s previous statements are reprehensible and we do not accept them in the slightest. As a human rights organization, Amnesty International will continue to fight racism and all forms of discrimination wherever they exist, “the group said.
The human rights group said that in redesigning Navalny’s status as a prisoner of conscience, he was not “supporting his political agenda, but highlighting the urgent need for his rights.”
“Height of hypocrisy”
In February, the Kremlin noted that Navalny had lost support for the group, prompting Amnesty to be criticized by other human rights organizations.
Amnesty said the decision to withdraw Navalny’s status should never be made public and that the Russian government took advantage of the measure “to further violate Navalny’s rights”.
“This was the height of hypocrisy, coming from a government that not only tried to kill Navalny by poisoning itself, but has carried out unconscious acts in the last two decades, including torture, enforced disappearances and widespread repression. of political freedoms in Russia and abroad, as well as war crimes in Syria. “
Navalny was arrested in January when he returned to Russia from Germany, where he spent five months recovering from a nerve agent poisoning that blames the Kremlin, an accusation officials have routinely dismissed as false.
Navalny says he has been denied proper medical treatment for severe back pain and numbness in prison limbs.
Last month ended a 24-day period hunger strike after being examined at a civilian hospital.
He has also complained of “torture” due to sleep deprivation, saying he wakes up every hour during the night because authorities consider him a flight risk.