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After Navalny’s death, independent expert on rights in Russia asks ‘who will be next?’ »

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Addressed exclusively to UN Newsshe said her office had raised repeated concerns in recent months, including about Mr. Navalny’s deteriorating health.

Arrested in 2021, the 47-year-old anti-corruption activist was serving several sentences for charges, including extremism.

“It is very shocking that this happened today, less than a month before the Russian presidential election. sends shock waves to all those in Russia and around the world who are concerned about the situation growing crackdown on government critics in Russian Federation,” she says.

The penal colony where Mr Navalny died is located above the Arctic Circle, “which was used in the past during Russia’s old gulag system of political repression”, with limited internet access and cut off from the world , she said.

“The conditions of detention in which Mr. Navalny was held amount to torture,” Ms. Katzarova said, adding that authorities were placing him in “disciplinary cells” to suffer “really difficult conditions“.

‘Who’s next?’

Citing other recent detention cases, she called for the release of all political prisoners in Russia.

“I can’t stop wondering today, who will be next if the authorities continue to wait and do not release all those arbitrarily detained in Russia simply for their conscientious beliefs, peacefully against the war in Ukraine or because of government policies they disapproved of and expressed concern about,” she said.

All these people must be releasedall these prisoners, so there is no further shocking news regarding the discovery of another political prisoner and human rights defender found dead in custody in Russia.

Special Rapporteurs

In May, Ms. Katzorova was appointed the first United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Russia.

The Human Rights Council created the mandate, citing concern over “the significant deterioration of the human rights situation in the Russian Federation, in particular severe restrictions on the rights to freedom of opinion and expression, peaceful assembly and association… resulting in systematic repression of civil society organizations.”

Special rapporteurs and other rights experts are appointed by the UN Human Rights Council, have a mandate to monitor and report on specific thematic issues or national situations, are not part of the staff of the UN and do not receive wages for their work.

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