Russian dissident Alexei Navalny says he was taken to solitary cell for ‘Sketny’



CNN

Imprisoned Russian dissident Alexei Navalny has been moved to a solitary cell, according to his tweets and from his staff, in what he described as a move intended to “silence me”.

Navalny, a prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, explained what happened in a tweet on Thursday: “Congratulations, you have risen to another level in the hierarchy of prison criminals,” Navalny wrote sarcastically, adding that prison officials had moved him to a “room of some sort.” narrow cell.

Cell-type rooms are used as punishment or to separate the most dangerous criminals in the Russian prison system. According to a report by the Poland-based Center for Oriental Studies (OSW), prisoners in Russian penal colonies are housed in barracks instead of cells.

In isolation, Navalny said he was only allowed two books and could use the prison commissioner, “albeit on a very limited budget.”

But, he said, “the real, unspeakable bestiality, which is so characteristic of the Kremlin, which manually controls my entire prison,” is the ban on visits. Navalny wrote that he was scheduled to visit his parents, children and wife, but that he would not be able to see them anymore.

“Alexei Navalny was taken to a dungeon-type room. It’s like a punishment dungeon, not just for 15 days, but forever,” his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh wrote on Twitter.

According to the Russian Penal Code, detention in a cell-type room could not exceed six months. CNN has reached out to the Russian prison services for comment.

Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent in 2020, an attack that many Western officials and Navalny himself have publicly blamed on the Kremlin. Russia denied any involvement.

After a five-month stay in Germany recovering from Novichok poisoning, Navalny returned last year to Moscow, where he was promptly arrested for violating probation terms imposed from the 2014 case.

Earlier this year, Navalny was sentenced to nine years in prison on fraud charges he said were politically motivated.

As Judge Margarita Kotova read out the charges against him, the footage showed a gaunt Navalny standing next to his lawyer in a room full of security officials. Seemingly unaffected by the proceedings, he looked at some court documents on a table in front of him.

Then, in June, Navalny was transferred from a penal colony where he was serving his sentence in a maximum security prison in Melikhovo, Vladimir Region.

“They are doing this to silence me,” Navalny said on Twitter Thursday about his new prison conditions. “Then what is my first duty? That’s right, don’t be afraid and don’t be silent,” he wrote, urging others to do the same.

At every opportunity, campaign against war, Putin and United Russia. Hug you all.”

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