US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: “Confident political leaders are not afraid of competing voices”

The United States strongly condemns Russia’s decision to arrest Alexei Navalny. We note with deep concern that his detention is the latest in a series of attempts to silence Navalny and other opposition figures and independent voices critical of the Russian authorities.

Confident political leaders are not afraid of competing votes, do not commit violence, and do not unlawfully detain political opponents. The Russian people, like people around the world, deserve a government that supports an open market for ideas, transparent and accountable governance, an independent judiciary, and the ability to exercise their basic human rights to freedom of speech and assembly without fear of retaliation.

We urge the Russian government to ensure a level playing field for all political parties and candidates seeking to participate in the electoral process. The problem is not with Alexey Navalny. We demand his immediate and unconditional release.

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