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Putin’s critic Alexei Navalny has been unexpectedly transferred to a new prison that his supporters describe as “one of the toughest and most torturous in Russia”.
The imprisoned Russian opposition leader – who was sentenced to 9 years in prison in March after being found guilty of charges of fraud which he says are politically motivated – has been taken from penal colony No 2 in Prokov, about 65 miles outside Moscow, at the IK-6 penal colony further east in Melekhovo, according to Russian state media.
“Even if the reports about Navalny’s transfer to the Melekhovo penal colony are true, this is hardly a relief. This colony is known to be one of the toughest and most torturous in Russia,” Anna said. Veduta, vice president of the Navalny-founded Anti-Corruption Foundation, said in a statement obtained by Fox News.
“Before Navalny’s appeal against a nine-year sentence in a maximum security prison was upheld, there were already rumors that he would be transferred to this colony,” the Veduta statement added. “Navalny passed a message saying: ‘Prisoners of the strict regime colony ‘Melekhovo’ write that the prison authorities equip me there with a ‘prison within a prison’. They say that if you search for ‘Melekhovo’ on Google there will be stories of how they pull out the nails of the convicts.”
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Navalny’s spokesman said on Tuesday that his legal team had not been informed of the transfer.
Kira Yarmysh tweeted that Navalny’s attorney had gone to visit him at Colony No. 2 Correctional Facility, but after waiting at a checkpoint, staff told him that “there is no no such convict here”.
Veduta also said that “Alexei may be on his way to the Far East at the moment with authorities using information about Melekhovo to deceive and appease the public” and that “we will not be able to confirm Navalny’s whereabouts until his lawyers have access to him”. .”
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In 2020, Navalny survived an assassination attempt he blamed on Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Putin’s loudest opponent in Russia, Alexei Navalny is in the hands of the same people who tried to assassinate him in August 2020,” Veduta added. “His alleged sudden transfer is extremely concerning.”
Fox News’ Liz Friden contributed to this report.
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