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EU calls for investigation into Navalny’s death by UN human rights body

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GENEVA: A group of more than 40 countries on Monday (March 4) reiterated their calls for Russia to allow an independent international investigation into the prison death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

The call was made by European Union Ambassador Lotte Knudsen to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, on behalf of the 27 EU states and 16 other countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States and Ukraine.

“We are outraged by the death of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny, whose ultimate responsibility lies with President (Vladimir) Putin and the Russian authorities,” Knudsen said.

“Russia must allow an independent and transparent international investigation into the circumstances of his sudden death.”

Navalny, President Vladimir Putin’s most vocal critic in Russia, died at the age of 47 in an Arctic penal colony on February 16, sparking accusations from his supporters that he had been murdered.

The Kremlin has denied any state involvement in the death of the opposition leader, who was buried in Moscow on Friday.

Russia’s Investigative Committee said it had opened a procedural investigation into the death, and the Kremlin said it was not complying with EU demands.

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