World News

Britain says concerned by conviction of Russian opposition leader Navalny

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain said on Thursday it was concerned by the conviction of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

“We are concerned at the conviction handed down to Russian opposition politician, Alexei Navalny,” a spokesman for Britain’s Foreign Office said. “The judgment once again raises questions about the selective application of the rule of law in Russia.”

“The conviction of Mr Navalny reflects a worrying trend in Russia where the space for public debate and legitimate opposition is shrinking ever further, and where political activists and civil society are facing increasing pressure,” the spokesman said.

Navalny accused the Kremlin of trying to block him from running in next year’s presidential election after a court on found him guilty of embezzlement. Navalny denies wrongdoing.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Alistair Smout