German foreign minister slams Navalny verdict as blow against freedom

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas says a Russian court’s decision to send opposition leader Alexei Navalny to a jail for three and a half years is an attack on freedoms and demanded his release. “The verdict against Alexei Navalny is a harsh blow against universally recognized freedoms and the rule of law in Russia,” he tweeted. “Alexei Navalny must be released immediately,” added Maas, whose country hosted Navalny as he recuperated from a poisoning attack with a nerve agent last year.

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