He is Putin’s best-known opponent. Now the Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has disappeared from the prison camp. Whereabouts: unknown. “He’s in danger,” says his spokeswoman.
According to his lawyer and his staff, Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny, who has just been sentenced to nine years in prison, is no longer in the previous penal camp.
“Alexej has disappeared, there is no information about where he is,” said his spokeswoman Kira Jarmysch on Tuesday evening on the YouTube show “Populjarnaja Politika” (German: Popular Politics). The lawyer was not given any information in the prison camp in Pokrov about where the 46-year-old opposition leader was transferred, it said.
“He’s in danger,” Jarmysch said. He could be killed in the brutal prison system, she said, referring to the poisoning attack on Navalny in August 2020. Navalny, who barely survived, blames Russian President Vladimir Putin for the assassination.
Is he in a prison camp with tougher prison rules?
Jarmysch also commented on media reports that Navalny may have been transferred to prison camp 6 in Melechowo near the city of Kovrov. «There is no confirmation. We can’t believe this until the lawyer sees him,” she said. Navalny’s wife Julia also has no knowledge. The camp, with particularly harsh prison conditions, is around 150 kilometers away from the Pokrov penal colony. That’s about 260 kilometers north-east of the Russian capital, Moscow.
The power apparatus is doing everything to make it difficult for the lawyers and the family to contact Navalny, said Jarmysch. In May, a court upheld Navalny’s nine-year prison sentence for alleged fraud. The transfer to a penal camp with tougher prison rules became legally binding. In Russian prisons for serious criminals, inmates are less likely to meet relatives, receive parcels and letters, or go outside into the fresh air.
At the end of May, Navalny himself informed about a new indictment by the Russian judiciary. This time it’s about extremism and a possible sentence of another 15 years in prison. His anti-corruption foundation had previously been classified as extremist in Russia. He has made many enemies with his revelations about corruption and abuse of power in the Russian state apparatus. So far, every indictment against Putin’s most well-known opponent has ended in a guilty verdict.