You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe



As Russia harms human rights, other democracies must step in

The embezzlement case against Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was so outlandish that even calling it a show trial was too generous. Navalny — anticorruption activist and candidate for mayor of Moscow — wasn’t allowed to present any witnesses. The judge, Sergei Blinov, has reportedly never found a defendant “not guilty” in his career. The abnormally harsh five-year sentence handed down Thursday came as a shock, and the judge’s decision to release Navalny on appeal after protests in several cities did not dispel that sentiment.

Navalny’s punishment for criticizing Putin follows another bizarre legal case: the recent posthumous conviction of Sergei L. Magnitsky, a lawyer who died in prison after exposing massive government tax fraud. For the Russian government, it wasn’t enough to arrest Magnitsky for blowing the whistle, or to engineer his death — as many suspect. Authorities took the extraordinary step of convicting him from the grave of the very crimes he sought to expose.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week