Deported from the penal colony: where did Putin take Kremlin opponent Navalny?

Supporters of Alexei Navalny report that the Kremlin opponent is being taken from his prison to an undisclosed location without a briefing from his lawyers.

Deported from the penal colony: where did Putin take Kremlin opponent Navalny?

Supporters of Alexei Navalny report that the Kremlin opponent is being taken from his prison to an undisclosed location without a briefing from his lawyers. His spokeswoman fears a harsher prison camp - and that Navalny is now alone in a system "that has already tried to kill him".

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has been transferred from prison to an undisclosed location. Two of his supporters share this in unison. Both the office manager of the Russian opposition figure Leonid Volkov and the writer and spokeswoman for Navalny, Kira Jarmysch, reported on the actions of the Russian authorities on Telegram and on Twitter.

"Alexei Navalny was taken from penal colony #2," Yarmysh wrote on Twitter in a series of tweets in Russian and English. "His lawyer, who wanted to see him, was detained at the gate until 2 p.m. when he was told: 'There is no such convict.'" In a statement on Telegram, Volkov said: "Where Alexei is now and to which colony he was taken we don't know."

According to Jarmysch, Navalny's lawyers and relatives were not informed in advance about his transfer. "It was rumored that he was to be transferred to the maximum security penal colony IK-6 Melekhovo, but it is still unclear if and when he will be taken there," the spokeswoman continued. Navalny's previous penal colony IK-2 is located almost 100 kilometers from Moscow and is considered particularly harsh. According to the non-profit project dekoder.org, there are reports of "systematic torture and sexual violence in the IK-6 penal colony in Melechowo".

The opposition's supporters not only fear that the type of detention may be even more threatening and that the prison conditions will probably be even stricter. "The whole time we don't know where Alexei is and he is left alone with a system that has already tried to kill him," explained Jarmysch. The main task now would be to find Navalny as quickly as possible.

However, the removal does not come as a complete surprise. In March, a court sentenced Navalny to nine years in prison for allegedly using millions of euros in donations paid to his political organization for personal purposes. When Navalny's appeal was rejected in May and the sentence was thus confirmed, this was accompanied by a possible transfer to an even tougher prison. At the end of May, the Kremlin critic said he had received an additional charge from the Russian judiciary, which is said to have involved extremism and a possible sentence of another 15 years in prison. In January, the opposition leader himself and some of his comrades-in-arms were put on a list by the authorities of "terrorists and extremists".

Navalny is already serving a two and a half year prison sentence for fraud. So far, every indictment against the most well-known opponent of Kremlin boss Vladimir Putin has ended with a guilty verdict. Navalny also blamed Putin for an assassination attempt with the chemical warfare agent Novichok in August 2020, which he barely survived. The Russian ruler denies that there was a crime.

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