MOSCOW — Russia’s most effective anti-corruption campaigner and opposition leader was found guilty of embezzlement Thursday and sentenced to five years in prison in a verdict that sent shock waves throughout the country.Which of course explains why the supposedly pro-transparency fugitive Edward Snowden wants asylum in Russia, and why his loudest supporters are lining up behind that request. Or something.
The conviction of Alexei Navalny, 37, a leading critic of President Vladimir Putin with a penchant for exposés and cutting jibes, brought sharp criticism from those who believed it to be a politically driven case. [...]
Navalny’s case is the most prominent of a series of criminal prosecutions that Russian authorities have launched against their critics since the outbreak of political protest in late 2011 — much of it led by Navalny.
International reactions on Navalny's sentence has been swift and condemning:
U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul posted on Twitter: “We are deeply disappointed in the conviction of Navalny and the apparent political motivations in this trial.”Navalny is no social gem, having been known for being a Russian nationalist. Nonetheless, he's an anti-corruption activist, whom Putin had persecuted, convicted and jailed for simply speaking out against his regime.
A statement released by the office of the European Union’s foreign affairs chief, Catherine Ashton, said, “This outcome, given the procedural shortcomings, raises serious questions as to the state of the rule of law in Russia.”
Of course, for someone looking to crusade against perceived government corruption, what better place to seek asylum than a country that regularly jails political opponents of the current administration? I mean, why wouldn't you want to go to a country that jails political dissidents and where the conviction rate in the courts is 99% in favor of the government while you tout yourself as an activist risking your Hawaii living quarters for the cause of government transparency?
You would do exactly that, certainly, if you are a hypocrite, care not a shed of light about transparency and anti-corruption, and are only looking to serve your own narrow political interest. You would do exactly that if your goal is merely to raise your own political profile by betraying your own country. And that, in a nutshell, is the screaming Left's newest hero, Edward Snowden.