Disinfo: The ECHR decision on Navalny undermines the Court's credibility

Summary

The decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Navalny undermines the credibility of this structure. This decision is not supported by any facts and contradicts Russia’s domestic laws as well as international law.

The ECHR’s demand to release blogger Alexei Navalny is a very serious attempt to interfere in the Russian judicial system, which is unacceptable.

Disproof

The claim is made in light of the recent decision by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which was published on 17 February 2021. The ECHR decided “to indicate to the Government of Russia, under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, to release the applicant [Navalny]… This measure shall apply with immediate effect.” The Court explains this decision as follows:

The Court had regard to the nature and extent of risk to the applicant’s life, demonstrated prima facie for the purposes of applying the interim measure, and seen in the light of the overall circumstances of the applicant’s current detention. This measure has been granted without prejudice to the Court’s decision on the merits of the present case and the competence of the Committee of Ministers.

The European Court of Human Rights was set up by the Council of Europe in 1959 as a supervisory mechanism to monitor respect for the human rights of 800 million Europeans in the 47 Council of Europe member States that have ratified the European Convention on Human Rights. Russia, both as a member of the Council of Europe and as a signatory of the Convention, has committed to the respect of human rights, democracy and the rule of law and undertook to secure a number of fundamental rights and freedoms to everyone within its jurisdiction.

As follows, the decision made by the ECHR does not contradict any laws and does not represent interference in the Russian judicial system. As The Guardian writes and as the court notes:

"The decision was made regarding the terms of Navalny’s confinement ... and was not a reversal of the 2014 embezzlement conviction against Navalny, which was widely seen as politically motivated."

Meduza provides a more detailed explanation of why the ECHR decision does not contradict any international laws. See this case for further explanations of legal aspects.

Back in 2018, the ECHR concluded that the decisions reached by the domestic courts in Alexei Navalny’s criminal case around Yves Rocher were arbitrary and manifestly unreasonable. In 2019, the European Court of Human Rights also ruled that the charges against Alexei Navalny are politically motivated and arbitrary and manifestly unreasonable. Last but not least, in November 2020 the Court obliged Russia to pay Navalny compensation for his detention amid the Bolotnaya Square protests in 2012.

Read other similar cases claiming that Navalny is not a politician, that NATO and the EU want to destabilise Russia through Navalny and the "opposition", or that French company Yves Rocher was victim of the Navalny brothers.

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  • Reported in: Issue 232
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/02/2021
  • Outlet language(s) Russian, English
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Europe, Russia
  • Keywords: Dmitry Peskov, ECHR, Alexei Navalny, Maria Zakharova, International Law
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EU has been consistently and deliberately breaking relations with Russia

The gap between the Russian Federation and the EU has been going on for many years, and the EU has been consistently breaking relations. And although Moscow and Brussels are discussing some issues, this is not part of the relations between the Russian Federation and the EU. The framework of these relations was deliberately destroyed at the initiative of Brussels. Moscow is ready to establish a dialogue with the EU, but Brussels itself is not going to do this.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the EU, an attempt to put the responsibility for EU-Russian relations on Brussels, alleging that the EU is destroying them.

The EU has imposed restrictive measures, including sectoral sanctions, as a result of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Russia's destabilising actions in eastern Ukraine. Formats such as regular high-level dialogues remain suspended in the absence of the full implementation of the Minsk agreements by Russia. These events have seriously affected bilateral relations. As a result, some of the policy dialogues and mechanisms of cooperation are temporarily frozen, and sanctions directed at promoting a change in Russia's actions in Ukraine have been adopted.

Finland is attempting to destabilise Russia

Finland, exploiting representatives of the opposition in St. Petersburg, wants to destabilise the situation in Russia. EU is serious in its calculations on a deterioration of the internal political situation in Russia and is promising its agents of influence a status in a new Russian elite. This is unfriendly step and another attempt to invest in the destruction of relations with Russia.

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In connection with the visit of Pekka Haavisto, Finland organised a secret meeting in the Consulate General, inviting several representatives of the so-called civil society and opposition members of the St. Petersburg municipal council. Member of the Russian parliament, Vitaliy Milonov, declares that the municipal councilmen, taking part in the secret meeting, should be investigated by competent authorities.

Disproof

An unfounded claim, consistent with a narrative of foreign countries waging anti-Russian policies. Finland's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pekka Haavisto, did meet with representatives of the civil society and opposition parties, as well as Finnish media and business representatives, but the visit was not secret. The Russian hosts were informed about Haavisto's programme, during the visit in St. Petersburg.

Finland continues to emphasise the need for a dialogue with Russia, but is also demanding Russia to abide to its obligations on international law and agreements.

The West is using "combating disinformation" as a cover for censorship in an Orwellian spirit

We see how the West constantly and persistently tightens its censorship of freedom of expression, while calling it in the spirit of George Orwell’s dystopia “combating disinformation.” This applies to opposing channels abroad, such as RT, or internal opponents. The ban was not limited to tens of thousands of Trump supporters in social networks only, but in entire media outlets that have come under siege, and even social networks, such as Parler, which are well-known to the American opposition, are also closed.

Disproof

No evidence is provided to support the article’s claims. The article repeats a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that the effort to fight disinformation is really aimed at censoring information that is unwelcome to Western governments and at silencing critics of dominant Western narratives.

The article’s messages are consistent with the broad pro-Kremlin narrative that seeks to discredit liberal democratic societies by claiming that the latter are totalitarian systems ruled by “globalist elites” and “shadow governments” which persecute anyone who expresses views that dissent from dominant “politically correct” liberal-globalist thinking. Disinformation (including Pro-Kremlin disinformation and malign influence campaigns) is not an imaginary problem used to justify censorship, but is an issue of genuine concern for many governments around the world, because it represents a threat to a nation’s security and stability, as well as to democratic governance.