In Washington In a distant jail colony where he is serving a nine-year term for alleged fraud, Russian dissident Alexey Navalny has been put in solitary confinement, rekindling worries for his safety as Vladimir Putin’s most important political rival.
Navalny said on Twitter that the reason he had been put in isolation was because he had been attempting to organize a union for inmates. He also filed a lawsuit earlier this month asking his jail colony to reveal who buys the products made there.
Popular opposition leader Alexei Navalny survived a botched assassination attempt in 2020, which many Kremlin skeptics believe was carried out by Russian security agencies. Even though he knew he would be detained the moment his jet landed in Moscow, which was actually the case, he recovered in Germany before going back to Russia.
At the time, he defiantly asserted, “I know that I am in the right, and that the criminal cases against me are contrived.” In the West, the arrest was generally perceived as an effort to intimidate one of Putin’s last remaining foes. Others had either died or escaped to the West.
When Navalny received a second nine-year sentence in late March, just a month after Putin began an invasion of Ukraine, he was already serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence from earlier this year.
He was moved from the penal colony at Pokrov, or IK-2, to the farther-off prison at Melekhovo, or IK-6, earlier this summer.
His isolation was justified, according to the guards, by breaking the prison’s dress code. The top button of my prison robe, which is a few sizes too small for me, was regularly unbuttoned while I was in the industrial zone, according to the commission, which called me from my barrack, Navalny wrote.
Navalny claimed that he is given 75 minutes each day to write with a pen and paper. He was able to explain his situation to his lawyers in a letter, which was then shared on Twitter in both English and Russian.
According to Anna Veduta, a spokeswoman of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation in the US, “Our team is profoundly concerned.” “In the legal jail system, the isolation unit is the toughest punishment. There, the most common crimes are torture and murder. She continued, referring to the 2009 demise of tax lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who was imprisoned after exposing Kremlin corruption, and said, “Magnitsky was tortured to death in the very same manner.” They plan on it going undiscovered because of August vacations.
Navalny referred to his cell as a “concrete kennel” in his letter that later became a Twitter thread. The majority of the time, the cold and damp conditions inside make it intolerable. Water is on the ground. It’s quite hot and there is hardly any air where I purchased the beach version.
A cell with a view of the sky must be walked about for an hour as exercise, he noted, and visitors are not permitted. Overall, it’s enjoyable, just as in the movies, Navalny remarked.
He mentioned that he was reading “21 Lessons for the 21st Century” by Israeli scholar Yuval Noah Harari.
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