Alexei Navalny transferred secretly to high-security penal colony known for abuse

Why? Navalny believes his charges are fabricated and are the result of his criticism and opposition to Putin. Navalny casts President Vladimir Putin’s Russia as a dystopian state run by thieves and criminals where wrong is right and judges are corrupt representatives of a doomed elite.

Navalny appearing via video link from prison at Moscow city court last month. Photograph: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

Alexei Navalny, Russia’s most prominent opposition leader, has been abruptly moved from the prison where he was serving an 11-1/2 year sentence to a high-security penal colony farther from Moscow.

Leonid Volkov, one of Navalny’s closest allies, during a radio interview said the Navalny’s lawyer attempted to visit him at the penal facility but was told that “there is no such convict here.”

On Tuesday, Navalny was moved to the IK-6 prison in the village of Melekhovo in the Vladimir region, Russian news agencies reported, citing Sergei Yazhan, chairman of the regional Public Monitoring Commission. IK-6 reportedly has a notorious reputation with widespread claims of torture and abuse

The new conviction followed a year-long Kremlin crackdown on Navalny’s supporters, other opposition activists and independent journalists in which authorities appear eager to stifle all dissent.

Until his transfer on Tuesday, Navalny had been at the IK-2 penal colony in the Vladimir region, about 60 miles east of the Russian capital. The facility in the town of Pokrov stands out among Russian penitentiaries for its especially strict inmate routines, which include standing at attention for hours.

Navalny is a fierce critic of Putin’s regime. Credit Reuters

In March 2022 Navalny was sentenced to nine years in prison for fraud and contempt of court, charges he rejected as politically motivated and an attempt by the authorities to keep him behind bars for as long as possible.

Navalny earned admiration from the disparate opposition in 2021 for returning to Russia voluntarily in 2021 from Germany, where he had been treated for what Western laboratory tests showed was an attempt to poison him in Siberia with a Soviet-era nerve agent. Russia denies trying to kill him.

Source: The Guardian and Reuters

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