Amnesty International has been accused of “siding with tyrants” and buckling to a Kremlin-backed disinformation campaign after it revoked Russian opposition figurehead Alexei Navalny’s status as a prisoner of conscience. The global human rights organisation said Mr Navalny, who was jailed last week after surviving an assassination attempt apparently orchestrated by the Russian security services, did not deserve the designation because comments he made 15 years ago about immigration. In a move that drew immediate condemnation from fellow human rights activists and appeared to catch the organisation’s own Russian office by surprise, the group said it had taken an "internal decision to stop referring to Aleksei Navalny as a prisoner of conscience in relation to comments he made in the past". “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,” Denis Krivosheev, the deputy director of Amnesty's Europe and Central Asia office, said in a statement. Mr Krivosheev appeared to be referring to two videos Mr Navalny produced in 2007 when he was entering national politics. One is an argument for gun rights in which he advocated carrying a pistol for self defence against Islamist terrorists, who he compared to “cockroaches”. In the second he posed as a dentist to argue that only by deporting immigrants could Russia prevent inter-ethnic conflict and the rise of the far-Right. He has never retracted the statements. Mr Navalny has also been criticised for attending the Russian March, an annual nationalist rally that drew large crowds in Moscow in the 2000s. Mr Krivosheev did not explain how the group had been previously unaware of the videos, which are well-known among followers of Russian human rights and current affairs.