Kaptur, Fitzpatrick Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Condemning Vladimir Putin’s Brutal Treatment of Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny
Washington, D.C. – Today, Representatives Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced a bipartisan resolution condemning the Government of Russia for the attempted assassination, wrongful imprisonment and brutal treatment of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny as well as the Putin regime’s criminal acts to intimidate and silence those in Russa bravely fighting for human rights, democracy and the end of official corruption. The resolution is being introduced on the same day that Russian police forces rounded up hundreds of protesters for carrying out nationwide rallies over Navalny’s failing health and the Putin regime’s inhumane refusal to grant him proper medical care. Original cosponsors of the legislation include House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-NY), House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Michael McCaul (R-TX), House Foreign Affairs Europe Subcommittee Chairman Bill Keating (D-MA), August Pfluger (R-TX), Mike Quigley (D-IL), and Peter Meijer (R-MI).
“This resolution strongly condemns the Kremlin’s attempted assassination and mistreatment of Alexei Navalny, calls for him to receive immediate medical care from an independent civilian doctor, and urges the Biden Administration to take all appropriate actions to secure his release, including through increased sanctions,” said Rep. Kaptur. “Mr. Navalny has been instrumental in uncovering corruption at the highest levels of the Kremlin. Time is of the essence to save Navalny’s life. That is why I am calling on all of my colleagues in the House to support this bipartisan legislation and for President Biden to take immediate steps to secure Navalny’s release. I am also very grateful for the critical work Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has done to shine a light on Navalny’s plight, and urge the State Department to place higher priority on protecting its bureau in Moscow currently under dire pressure from the Kremlin.”
“Alexei Navalny’s worsening condition shows a disregard for human rights by the Russian government,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick, Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Energy, Environment, and Cyber. “As the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Europe, Energy, the Environment, and Cyber, I will work to ensure the Putin regime is held accountable for its malicious actions by the United States and our allies and partners.”
“Congress and the international community are closely watching the Kremlin's actions and will not hesitate to hold it accountable for Alexei Navalny's health and safety,” said Rep. Meeks, Chairman of House Foreign Affairs Committee. “The failure to provide fundamental due process rights to those who speak out in support of the Russian people is a reminder of what sort of government we are dealing with in Moscow
“Alexei Navalny’s imprisonment is unjust, illegal and inhumane,” said Rep. Keating, Chairman of the Europe Subcommittee on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “This resolution condemns Vladimir Putin’s malign activities, including his use of chemical weapons, and makes clear that Mr. Navalny must be released from prison and receive adequate health care from authorities. Mr. Navalny’s life is in grave danger and we will continue to work to ensure he regains his freedom and his health.”
“The Kremlin’s continued attempts to silence Alexei Navalny are appalling and cowardly,” said Rep. McCaul. “Exposing the Putin regime’s corruption and opposing its authoritarian rule are not crimes, let alone crimes punishable by death. This resolution puts Vladimir Putin on notice that the U.S. is watching closely and will hold his regime accountable if Navalny is murdered while wrongfully imprisoned in Russia.”
“The Putin Regime must be held accountable for their egregious human rights offenses, including the corrupt imprisonment and life-threatening medical neglect of Alexei Navalny,” said Rep. Pfluger. “This resolution sends a clear signal affirming that the United States will not turn a blind eye to the Kremlin’s treatment and attempted murder of Navalny or its malign activities across the continent.”
“The Kremlin has once again demonstrated their main political aim is to silence and to intimidate its critics,” said Rep. Quigley. “Putin’s imprisonment and inhumane treatment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny is yet another example in a long list of antidemocratic human rights abuses. As a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, I remain committed to investigating and holding accountable the Russian government in its attempts to harm the United States and disrupt democracy in their own country and countries around the world.”
“Alexei Navalny’s harsh and unjust imprisonment symbolizes everything that is wrong with Putin’s corrupt and thuggish regime, and it must be condemned in the strongest possible terms,” said Rep. Meijer. “The Russian government must release Navalny and all other political prisoners immediately. This resolution takes a critical step in bringing attention to and holding Russia accountable for its corrupt and violent behavior against prodemocracy activists.”
On August 20, 2020, agents working on behalf of Vladimir Putin poisoned Mr. Navalny with the nerve agent, Novichok, that nearly ended Navalny’s life. After making a recovery in Germany, Mr. Navalny bravely returned to Russia where he was detained, imprisoned, and tortured. To protest these despicable conditions, he has been on a hunger strike for close to three weeks, and is now in critical condition. Russia has a long history of silencing dissidents through successful and unsuccessful assassinations, including Boris Nemtsov, Sergei Magnitsky, Alexander Litvinenko, and many more.
The text of the resolution is available here.