Navalny in Vladimir region east of Moscow to serve prison term

Elias Hubbard
Марта 3, 2021

On Thursday afternoon the opposition politician's defence team said Navalny had been transferred from a Moscow jail to an unknown location, possibly to a penal colony.

Leading Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has been transferred to a penal colony where he will serve out his jail sentence, the head of Russia's prison service said.

Navalny has been a vocal critic of President Vladimir Putin. Navalny lawyer Vadim Kobzev arrived at the Moscow prison to meet with his client but was told he wasn't there, the BBC reports. Kalashnikov, the prison chief, said Navalny would be held "in normal conditions" and allowed to work at the facility if he wants to.

"I guarantee that there is no threat to his life or health", he told Russian media.

Last week the European Court of Human Rights ordered Russian Federation to release Navalny, saying his life was in danger in prison, but Moscow swiftly rejected the call.

But the slain opposition politician's family and supporters insist the authorities have failed to bring the masterminds to justice.

Navalny will be quarantined as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus before joining other prisoners in the colony, the monitoring commission said, according to the RIA news agency. "There are just no other options", she says, per the BBC.

He was convicted of violating parole terms while in Germany recovering from a poisoning attack. Russian Federation has denied involvement.

Navalny's arrest in mid-January when he returned to Russian Federation provoked the biggest anti-Kremlin protests in years and was condemned by the European Union and the US, which are both considering new sanctions to punish Putin for his imprisonment.

"It's a tough penal camp with very strict rules, to put it mildly", said Eva Merkacheva, a member of a civic-oversight group for the prison system.

The 2014 suspended sentence was turned into an actual prison term of two and half years after he returned from Germany, where he had received medical treatment for nerve agent poisoning. Navalny accuses Putin of ordering his attempted murder.

The 44-year-old opposition figure is serving a almost three-year term that he says is politically motivated.

Leaders of Western countries have condemned his detention and called for his immediate release.

The European Union has agreed to impose sanctions on four senior Russian officials over the crackdown.

Amnesty, which vowed to continue to push for his release, did not refer to specific remarks made by Navalny.

He triggered criticism however at the beginning of his career a decade ago with anti-immigrant statements and by participating in nationalist marches.

One of the pranksters posed as Leonid Volkov, Navalny's right-hand man.

"We remain deeply troubled by the Russian government's growing intolerance of all forms of independent expression".

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