Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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Murder of Russian opposition leader commemorated, nod to Navalny

Saturday 27/February/2021 - 02:12 PM
The Reference

Six years after the murder of Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov, the foundation named after him has honoured imprisoned dissident Alexei Navalny for his civil courage.

The 44-year-old will receive the Nemtsov Prize this year for his courage in defending democratic values in Russia, the foundation announced on Saturday, on the anniversary of the murder of the former deputy head of government.

People including US Ambassador John J Sullivan laid flowers at the scene where Nemtsov was shot near the Kremlin on February 27, 2015.

After Nemtsov's death, leading opposition figure Navalny, who is currently in a prison camp, is seen by many people in Russia as a new hope for an end to Vladimir Putin's presidency.

The foundation set up by Nemtsov's daughter Zhanna Nemtsova in Bonn, Germany, commemorates the politician's death with an annual award.

Navalny is a "symbol of resistance against tyranny in the world," the foundation announced. It called for the immediate release of the Putin critic, who narrowly survived an assassination attempt with the chemical agent Novichok in August.

"Alexei Navalny has not only shown incredible personal courage, but has also made an enormous contribution to exposing corruption."

Commemorating Nemtsov's assassination, Sullivan recalled that the politician had fought for a "better future for his country and his fellow citizens."

"He remains an inspiration to many who strive for justice, transparency, freedom," the embassy in Moscow tweeted.

Nemtsov's murder still raises many questions; the European Union has repeatedly urged Russia to investigate the case further.

In 2017, a court in Moscow sentenced the alleged murderer and four accomplices from the North Caucasus region to long prison terms.

Nevertheless, there have always been doubts about this account.

Nemtsov's family complain that the real masterminds had never really been sought.

The politician was considered a liberal reformer and was deputy head of government in the 1990s. Later he became the dazzling figurehead of the Russian opposition. He was a bitter critic of Putin.