What’s happening with Navalny?  Lawyers cannot contact opposition leader in concentration camp  outside

What’s happening with Navalny? Lawyers cannot contact opposition leader in concentration camp outside

Those close to Alexei Navalny are sounding the alarm over the fate of the Kremlin critic. His lawyers have not contacted him for days and are concerned about his health. “He’s in danger.”

Navalny is currently imprisoned in the notorious IK-6 concentration camp in Melikhovo, 250 kilometers east of Moscow. He is also regularly held in solitary confinement there. The opposition leader’s lawyers have been stationed in recent days not only at the entrance gates of the IK-6 penal colony, but also in another prison (IK-7). According to Kira Yarmysh, Navalny’s spokesman, after a long wait, they were not allowed in to speak with their client.

No connection at all

“We had no contact for three days. We did not even receive letters – which are censored, of course – for a whole week,” Yarmysh said on Channel X. She described the situation as worrying because Navalny fell ill in his cell last week. He was forced to lie on the ground. The attending staff immediately came and gave him an IV. We don’t know exactly what was happening. He does not get any food, is in a cell without ventilation and hardly has time to go for a walk. This is why we think of hunger pangs.


Since that incident, President Vladimir Putin’s political opponent has kept in touch with his lawyers and, according to Yarmysh, appears to be doing reasonably well. But in recent days, those close to him were unaware of Navalny’s exact whereabouts and how he was doing. Ivan Zhdanov, a senior member of Navalny’s anti-corruption fund FBK, wrote on X that “strange things” are happening around the IK-6 concentration camp. “The electricity was cut off and lawyers are no longer allowed to enter. In addition, court cases have been postponed. This raises many questions that need to be answered. Navalny is in the hands of the enemy, he is in danger,” Zhdanov said.

Concerns about Putin’s biggest critic come as Putin announced that he will participate in the 2024 presidential elections. The elections will run from March 15 to 17, the government announced on Friday. A constitutional amendment in 2020 could allow the 71-year-old Putin to remain president until 2036.


Definitely a winner

Putin is the clear winner. Almost all dissent in Russia is suppressed. Navalny will be his biggest competitor, but he is serving a years-long prison sentence. He was imprisoned in 2021 after being poisoned by Russia’s FSB security service in 2020. In October, the opposition leader was sentenced to a further nineteen years in prison in a show trial. This was in addition to more than eleven years he had already spent in a penal colony in Russia.

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The Russian government increasingly classifies NGOs, news media, and opposition figures as dangerous to the state.

Navalny was photographed from the IK-2 punishment colony more than a year ago.
Navalny was photographed from the IK-2 punishment colony more than a year ago. © Reuters

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