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US disappointed by harsh prison sentence passed on Navalny

July 19, 2013, 4:36 UTC+3
Navalny’s harsh prison sentence is the latest example of a disturbing trend of government actions aimed at suppressing dissent
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Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

WASHINGTON, July 19 (Itar-Tass) - The United States is “deeply disappointed and concerned by the conviction of” opposition leader Alexei Navalny, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Thursday.

“Navalny’s harsh prison sentence is the latest example of a disturbing trend of government actions aimed at suppressing dissent and civil society in Russia,” Jay Carney said at a briefing.

“We call on the Russian government to cease its campaign of pressure against individuals and groups seeking to expose corruption and to ensure that the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of all of its citizens including the freedoms of speech and assembly are protected and respected,” he said.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf, for her part, echoed him by saying “We are very disappointed by the conviction and sentencing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his co-defendant, Petr Ofitserov, to lengthy prison terms for alleged embezzlement by a court in the city of Kirov”.

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