Target: Russian activist Alexei Navalny
Goal: Commend Navalny’s anti-corruption work and celebrate his release from custody
Alexei Navalny is Vladimir Putin’s greatest and possibly only opposition leader today; he is championed for breaking Russian taboo by fearlessly exposing Putin’s corruption schemes. He was charged with unfounded embezzlement accusations and was sentenced to five years in a corrective labor colony. Across major Russian cities, thousands of people took to the streets and protested for Navalny’s freedom. The national outcry led to his release the day following his arrest.
As the Russian public was settling into a resigned apathy to state corruption, Navalny led a movement to reignite demands for reform. He openly called Putin a thief and his party, United Russia, a group of swindlers. Navalny’s high-profile criticisms contributed to United Russia’s low showing in the most recent parliamentary elections. Experts believe that as punishment, Navalny was accused of embezzlement, an allegation he called “bogus” and “politically motivated.”
His work threatens the illegitimate system that Putin controls while Navalny’s supporters represent the potential of a robust civil society in Russia. Navalny has campaigned tirelessly to combat the country’s $300 billion corruption market, where elites such as Putin perch at the very top. By signing below, you will celebrate Navalny for his progressive work as well as his supporters who rallied together for his release from imprisonment.
Dear Alexei Navalny,
Around the world your supporters cheered when you were released from government custody. From your work uncovering rigged parliamentary elections to the instances you were incarcerated for exposing systemic corruption, you have become a beacon of hope for progress in the Russian government. Your work not only addresses problems within Russian government but also human rights issues: citizens deserve the right to free speech and should not be convicted for fabricated reasons. We commend you for your bravery to continue fighting despite the obstacles that may be put before you by your enemies.
We also want to sing praises for your supporters in Russia who rallied together for your release. The charges made against you were based on flimsy evidence and your supporters combated foul play by taking to the streets. They announced to the world Russia’s desire for a transparent and legitimate government. The world not only celebrates your release but also your determination, vision, and leadership.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Mitya Aleshkovskiy via Wikimedia Comomons