MOSCOW — Imprisoned Russian opposition chief Alexei Navalny says jail officers ordered him to serve at the very least three days in solitary confinement, citing a minor infraction, in retaliation for his activism behind bars.
A submit concerning the punishment appeared in Navalny’s social media accounts on Monday. It wasn’t instantly clear how the politician bought the data out — the submit says that these in solitary confinement are usually not allowed to have guests, letters or parcels, the one possessions at Navalny’s disposal are “a mug and a e-book,” and he will get to have a pen and a few paper for simply over an hour a day.
Navalny, President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest foe, was arrested in January 2021 upon coming back from Germany, the place he had been recuperating from nerve-agent poisoning he blamed on the Kremlin. He obtained a 2½-year sentence for violating the situations of his parole whereas exterior Russia.
In March, Navalny was sentenced to 9 years in jail on fees of fraud and contempt of court docket, allegations he rejected as a politically motivated try by Russian authorities to maintain him behind bars for so long as potential.
Throughout his time behind bars, his social media accounts have been usually up to date with posts about life in jail. Simply final week, Navalny introduced establishing a labor union for convicts, of which he stated he was the one member on the time. Navalny stated the union has efficiently argued for changing backless stools with chairs within the jail’s stitching store the place he works.
In line with the submit printed on Monday, the union exercise was the actual cause jail officers despatched him to solitary confinement: “The Kremlin desires to see its GULAG consisting of unvoiced slaves. And right here I’m, as a substitute of begging for pardon, uniting some folks and demanding that some legal guidelines be noticed.”
The submit stated Navalny was summoned by jail officers and informed that video surveillance confirmed he usually unbuttoned his jail garb whereas within the work space. “This actually characterizes me as a hopeless villain. So, a call has been made to ship me to punitive solitary confinement” for 3 days, the submit learn.
If Navalny “would not change (his) perspective,” his keep there could be prolonged, jail officers informed him, in accordance with the submit.
The submit described solitary as “probably the most extreme punishment within the authorized jail hierarchy” — a small concrete cell, by which “it is extremely scorching and there may be nearly no air.” There’s a metallic mattress connected to a wall, and a mattress and a pillow are solely introduced at 9 p.m. and brought away at 5 a.m.
“Visitation is now allowed, letters are usually not allowed, parcels are usually not allowed. It’s the solely place in jail the place even smoking shouldn’t be allowed,” the submit learn.