Amnesty International revokes Navalny's status

Amnesty International, the human rights NGO, says that it no longer considers jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny a "prisoner of conscience" due to past comments he made that it believes -- qualify as advocacy of hate.

In a statement sent to Reuters Amnesty said, “some of these comments, which Navalny has not publicly denounced, reach the threshold of advocacy of hatred, and this is at odds with Amnesty's definition of a prisoner of conscience."

Amnesty did not say what comments it was specifically referring to.

But in the past he’s Navalny has been criticized for nationalist statements against illegal immigration and for attending an annual nationalist march several years ago.

In a 2007 video, he called for the deportation of migrants to prevent the rise of far-right violence saying "We have a right to be (ethnic) Russians in Russia. And we'll defend that right."

However, the Amnesty did go on record to say Navalny still should be released from jail and that he has committed no crime.

It says he is being persecuted for his campaigning and outspoken criticism of President Vladimir Putin.

He was arrested on his return to Russia last month following his near-fatal poisoning last year.

Navalny is set to spend just over two-and-a-half years in jail for parole violations he called trumped up.

His allies protested the move by Amnesty on Twitter.

They included ally Ivan Zhdanov, who said: "the procedure for assigning and revoking Amnesty International status has proven extremely shameful."