Around one and a half months after a court ruling that was heavily criticized internationally, the Kremlin critic Alexej Navalny was taken to a Russian prison camp. He was being held in the Vladimir region around 100 kilometers east of Moscow, Navalny wrote on Instagram on Monday. He also posted a photo that shows him with his head shaved.
Although he believes the numerous media reports of torture in the camp, he has not seen any violence so far, the 44-year-old wrote. He himself is under constant surveillance, with cameras hanging everywhere. “But if you take it with a sense of humor, it is possible to live,” says Navalny.
At the end of last week, it became known that Navalny had been taken away from a detention center. Since then, supporters and family have complained that for days there has been no sign of life from him. On Monday, the opposition’s lawyers said they waited in vain for hours in front of the camp for information.
At the weekend, Navalny’s wife Julia Navalnaya also complained that she did not know where her husband was currently being held. In social networks, numerous users requested information about the whereabouts of the opposition under the hashtag GdjeNawalny (“Where is Nawalny”).
According to the Interfax agency, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said after the action by Navalny’s lawyers on Monday that he had no information about the whereabouts of convicts. Such information must be obtained from the Russian penal system.
At the beginning of February, Navalny was sentenced to several years in a prison camp in a trial that was heavily criticized internationally, but was then initially held in a remand prison. The Russian judiciary has accused him of violating probation requirements in a previous criminal case while he was recovering from a poison attack in Germany. Germany, the EU and the USA had demanded Nawalny’s release.