Navalny dedicates humans rights award to 'anti-corruption fighters'

Navalny dedicates humans rights award to 'anti-corruption fighters'
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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has dedicated his top human rights award to “all kinds of anti-corruption fighters around the world.”

Navalny won The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought on Wednesday, the European Union’s top human rights award.

Navalny is currently in prison after the Russian government arrested him in January for leaving the country last year, claiming he broke his parole, to get treatment for a poison attack against him. 

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Navalny says the attack was by the Russian government while the Kremlin denies it. He is currently serving two and a half years on what he says are trumped-up charges. 

Navalny has been a top critic of Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinOvernight Defense & National Security — Quick vote on defense bill blocked again Kremlin claims Ukraine may try to win back rebel-controlled regions by force Blinken threatens coordinated sanctions on Russia over Ukraine MORE and has been active in getting people to vote against the Russian government. 

I dedicate my prize to all kinds anti-corruption fighters around the world: from journalists to lawyers, from officials (there are some, yes) and deputies to those who take to the streets to support this fight. I wish them perseverance and courage even in the scariest of moments,” Navalny said in a tweet Thursday.

Russia has labeled Navalny’s Foundation for Fighting Corruption and its other offices an extremist group, banning those associated with the group from running for political office. 

EU's EPP Christian Democrat group announced the award for Navalny on Twitter, calling for his release from prison. 

“Mr. Putin, free Alexei Navalny. Europe calls for his — and all other political prisoners’ — freedom,” it said.

“I am just one of those many who fight corruption, because I consider it not only as the cause of poverty and degradation of states, but also as the main threat to human rights,” Navalny stated.

A group of Afghan women and a jailed Bolivian opposition politician, Jeanine Anez, were the others on the shortlist for the human rights award.