(Moscou) Des milliers de Russes, et des diplomates occidentaux, se sont rassemblés samedi dans le center de Moscou en mémoire de l’opposant Boris Nemtsov, l’un des principaux détracteurs du président Vladimir Poutine jusqu’à son assassinat il ya six years .
On the anniversary of his death, on the occasion of the recent transfer of Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny to a criminal colony, the United States said it was “extremely concerned” about Russia’s “growing intolerance” towards freedom of expression.
Boris Nemtsov, who played an important role in the opposition to Vladimir Putin and was Deputy Prime Minister under President Boris Yeltsin, was shot at close range on a bridge near the Kremlin, on February 27, 2015.
Since the morning, a steady stream of Russian citizens and Western diplomats have laid flowers on the temporary monument erected in memory of Boris Nemtsov at the place of his death, which has been regularly dismantled by the authorities.
“We gather here every year today in this place to show the strength that we have not and will not forget. The opponent and former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov told reporters,” Boris’s memory will not be erased.
He added, “I am sure that what Boris fought for, the freedom, well-being and dignified lives of the Russians, will be achieved soon,” praising “his contribution to liberating Russians from this oppression and this oppression. The totalitarianism that has followed us since the Soviet era.”
The anniversary of Nemtsov’s death is usually celebrated with an opposition march through central Moscow, but this year it was decided to visit the memorial only due to health restrictions due to the epidemic.
According to the non-governmental organization Compteur Blanc, which specializes in monitoring protests, around 7,800 people took part in the march at 5:30 pm (9:30 a.m. ET).
“We must preserve the memory of this major crime against democracy and Russian civil society,” student Mikhail, 21, told AFP.
“He was telling the truth and for that, in our country, we are killing,” said Irina Drozdova, a 44-year-old lawyer.
Alexei Navalny’s wife, Yulia Navalnasha, was there, too, with a bouquet of red carnations. The wreaths were also laid by the ambassadors of the European Union, the United States and the United Kingdom, among other Western representatives.
“Nemtsov continues to provide an example for those who are indifferent to freedom, human rights and democracy,” the European Union representative in Russia wrote on Twitter.
“He remains an inspiration to many who aspire to justice, transparency and freedom,” said a spokeswoman for the US Embassy in Moscow, Rebecca Ross, on Twitter.
In a separate statement, Anthony Blinken, head of US diplomacy, praised the memory of an opponent who “devoted his life to building a free and democratic Russia.”
Those who defend their freedom and democracy in Russia are still the target of attacks and assassinations. We remain deeply concerned about the Russian government’s growing intolerance of any form of independent expression.
Anthony Blinken, US Secretary of State, in a statement
In July 2017, five men from the Chechen and Ingush republics of the Russian Caucasus were sentenced for murder between 11 and 20 years in prison.
But Boris Nemtsov’s family denounced the “utter failure” of Russian justice, which did not specify the true sponsor.
More than five years after Nemtsov’s death, Alexei Navalny was the victim of poisoning the Kremlin accused of, who denies any involvement.
After five months of recovering in Germany, the 44-year-old opponent was arrested in January upon his return to Russia. His arrest sparked large protests in Russia, to which the authorities responded with more than 11,000 arrests, usually followed by fines and short prison terms.
Sentenced to two and a half years in prison in a politically motivated fraud case, he was transferred to a penal colony.
And the European Union decided last week to punish four senior Russian officials responsible for the opponent’s treatment.
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