Vatican number two says clarification “would be important” in Russian leader’s death

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27/02/2024
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The Vatican Secretary of State gave a second statement on the February 16 death of Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny. Cardinal Pietro Parolin first commented on it a few days ago, saying it was something “that could have been handled in a different way.” He said it is news that “astonishes” and “fills one with pain.”

On February 26, Cardinal Parolin was at an even in a hospital in Rome and was asked about Navalny's death. He responded:

It would be important to clarify what really happened. This would also serve to reassure those who are clearly giving a certain explanation of the death.

Navalny had been in a Russian prison since 2021, serving a 19-year sentence. The United Nations had previously expressed concern about Navalny's conditions in the prison. The Russian government was asked to provide him with urgent medical care for his deteriorating health.

The UN is now also calling for an investigation to be launched to determine the cause of his death.

STÉPHANE DUJARRIC
Spokesman, UN Secretary General

The Secretary General expresses his condolences to Mr. Navalny's family and calls for a full, credible and transparent investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Navalny's reported death in custody.

The spokeswoman for Navalny's mother confirmed that her son's body was given to her a few days ago. It is not yet clear how the funeral will proceed, as the Russian authorities want it to be a secret burial in order to avoid public demonstrations against Putin.

CA/JRB
TR: KG

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