The top United Nations human rights official called on Russia on Tuesday to conduct or cooperate with a full independent investigation into Germany’s “unequivocal” findings that opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned with Novichok nerve agent.
Kremlin critic Navalny has been removed from a medically induced coma and is responding to speech, Berlin’s Charite hospital said on Monday. The hospital, which has been treating Navalny since he was airlifted to Germany after falling ill on a Russian domestic flight last month, said his condition has improved and he is being weaned off mechanical ventilation.
“The number of cases of poisoning, or other forms of targeted assassination, of current or former Russian citizens, either within Russia itself or on foreign soil, over the past two decades is profoundly disturbing”, Michelle Bachelet, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a statement.
Proper legal processes have not been carried out in previous incidents, resulting in “close to total impunity” in Russia, her spokesman Rupert Colville told a Geneva news briefing.