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Transparency International mourns the death of Alexey Navalny and calls for an immediate and independent investigation

Transparency International and Transparency International Russia mourn the death of 47-year-old anti-corruption activist and politician Alexey Navalny while in the custody of Russian authorities and call for an impartial investigation into the circumstances of his death.

According to a statement from the Federal Penitentiary Service of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, Navalny felt unwell after a walk in the penal colony where he was held, he lost consciousness, and shortly after paramedics pronounced him dead. 

Navalny’s family has not yet confirmed or denied the official report. His team stated that they do not have confirmed information about his death, and his lawyer has recently travelled to the colony where Navalny was being held. 

Navalny’s death comes one month before the Russian presidential elections are held in March, raising suspicion as to the circumstances of his death. Navalny, who was known as a critic and opposer to the Putin regime, suffered a poisoning attempt in 2020 and was ultimately arrested in 2021 after voluntarily returning to Russia. 

Soon after, in April 2021, the Russian authorities shut down the Anti-Corruption Foundation and the Citizens’ Rights Protection Foundation, which Navalny founded. In June 2021, the two organisations were officially labelled as “extremist” and arbitrarily banned. In 2022, Navalny was sentenced to nine years in prison. In December 2023 Navalny was moved to the Polar Wolf Arctic penal colony where he remained until his death today.

We express our condolences to the family and loved ones of Alexey Navalny. 

Ilia Shumanov, Executive Director of Transparency International Russia, said:

“The Russian authorities are responsible for Navalny’s death, and the Putin regime needs to be held accountable for silencing one of the most outspoken voices against his authoritarian regime. This is an immense tragedy for all the Russian people, but we will keep his memory strong by continuing with his fight to expose corruption in Russia.”  

François Valérian, Chair of Transparency International, said:

“Despite facing threats and persecution from the Russian authorities for years, Navalny never gave up in his fight against the highest levels of corruption within the Putin regime. Navalny will be remembered and honoured for his fearless fight for democracy and to hold power to account.”