Navalny’s lawyer went to visit him in prison, but was told by guards that “there is no such convict here.” Russian authorities have not said where they have taken the opposition leader.
Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny has been removed from a prison where he was originally serving his nearly 12-year sentence, his allies said on Tuesday.
His associates and supporters expressed concerns for Navalny’s health and safety — particularly after he nearly died following an attack with a Soviet-era nerve agent in 2020.
What we know so far
Navalny’s allies sounded the alarm on social media, saying he did not show up for a meeting with his lawyers at a prison camp in Pokrov, 119 kilometers (74 miles) east of Moscow.
His legal team was told “there is no such convict here,” according to Navalny’s chief of staff Leonid Volkov.
Neither Navalny’s family nor his lawyer was told about the prison transfer.
Allies of the 46-year-old Kremlin critic are concerned that he has been taken to a new penal colony that is believed to have harsher conditions than his current prison in Pokrov.
“The problem with his transfer to another colony is not only that the high-security colony is much scarier,” Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said on Twitter.
“As long as we don’t know where Alexei is, he remains one-on-one with the system that has already tried to kill him, so our main task now is to locate him as soon as possible,” she added.
Of course, neither Alexei's attorneys nor his relatives were informed about his transfer in advance. There were rumors that he was going to be transferred to the high-security penal colony IK-6 "Melekhovo", but it is impossible to know when (and if) he will actually arrive there.
— Кира Ярмыш (@Kira_Yarmysh) June 14, 2022