Washington: Disappointed and concerned over conviction of Russian opposition leader and anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny and his co-defendant Petr Ofitserov, the US has urged Moscow to allow for a fair and impartial appeal of the verdict.
"The US is deeply disappointed and concerned by the conviction of opposition leader and anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny and his co-defendant Petr Ofitserov in Russia," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.
Noting that the two were sentenced to lengthy prison terms on politically motivated charges of embezzlement, he said 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.
"The numerous procedural shortcomings in this case also reinforce our broader concerns about rule of law in Russia," Carney said.
"We urge Russia to allow for a fair and impartial appeal of the verdict," Carney said, calling upon the Russian government to cease its campaign of pressure against individuals and groups seeking to expose corruption.
In also requested Russia 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.