Berlin church holds memorial service to mark Alexey Navalny’s birthday — Novaya Gazeta Europe
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Berlin church holds memorial service to mark Alexey Navalny’s birthday

Berlin church holds memorial service to mark Alexey Navalny’s birthday. Photo: Tom Masters

Berlin church holds memorial service to mark Alexey Navalny’s birthday. Photo: Tom Masters

Alexey Navalny’s widow, Yulia Navalnaya, and former Navalny associates including Kira Yarmysh and Leonid Volkov, have attended a memorial service at Berlin’s Marienkirche to mark what would have been slain Russian opposition leader’s 48th birthday, radio station Ekho reported on Tuesday.

Bishop Christian Stäblein, who delivered the sermon at the memorial service, lauded Navalny’s “courage, indomitable spirit, and humour”.

“Part of a birthday is giving thanks for life. The world was privileged to share it with him for 47 years,” Stäblein said. “Many of these 47 years were spent fighting, searching for freedom and justice.”

Since this morning, Muscovites have been marking the occasion at the Borisovsky Cemetery in Moscow, where Navalny was laid to rest in March, placing flowers and portraits on his grave, independent news outlet SOTAvision reported.

People all over Russia have been laying flowers at monuments dedicated to victims of political repressions, despite police warning residents “not to break the law” and photographing those who laid flowers in Navalny’s memory.

A concert to mark Navalny’s birthday will be held in Berlin on Tuesday evening, featuring prominent Russian artists including AIGEL, Kasta and Noize MC.

The Russian prison service announced Navalny’s death at a penal colony in the Russian Arctic on 16 February. His body was only released to his family on 24 February. Before that, the authorities had demanded his family agree to have him buried in secret, threatening to bury him at the prison where he died if they didn’t agree.

A funeral service for Navalny eventually went ahead in Moscow on 1 March, with at least 27,000 people coming to pay their respects to the late politician over the following weekend following his funeral.

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