43 countries call for independent international investigation into Navalny's death

A total of 43 countries, including the United States, European Union member states and the United Kingdom, are calling for an international investigation into the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

"We are outraged by the death of the Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, for which the ultimate responsibility lies with President (Vladimir) Putin and the Russian authorities," EU ambassador Lotte Knudsen told the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on behalf of the 43 countries.

Navalny was one of the most prominent political opponents of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He was serving a 19-year sentence for "extremism" in a penal colony when he died on Friday 16 February, according to prison authorities. 

According to Navalny's team, the death certificate states that he died of natural causes, but both the team and human rights activists believe that Navalny was killed. 

Navalny was buried in Moscow's Borisovskoye cemetery on Friday. Thousands of people made their way to his final resting place to pay their respects.

Some countries, including Belgium, had previously called for an independent investigation into Navalny's death. On 20 February, Belgian Foreign minister Hadja Lahbib said his death was "yet another reminder of how Putin's authoritarianism threatens peace", adding that "Navalny's struggle will not be in vain".


The grave of Alexei Navalny at the Borisovskoye cemetery in Moscow © MALTSEVA / AFP

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