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Russia confirms that Navalny was transferred to penal colony

5.Feb.2021 – Russian opponent Alexei Navalny in a reserved glass cell during a trial in Moscow Image: AFP / Moscow’s Babushkinsky district court press service / handout

Moscow, Feb 26, 2021 (AFP) – Opponent Alexei Navalny has been transferred to a penal colony, where he is expected to serve a two-and-a-half year sentence, the director of the Federal Prison Service of Russia announced on Friday.

“He was transferred to the place where he was supposed to be by court decision,” said Alexander Kalashnikov, quoted by Russian news agencies, before saying that the opponent “poses no threat to his life or health”.

The opponent “will carry out his sentence under absolutely normal conditions,” said Kalashinikov, before stating that “Mr Navalny, if he wishes, will participate in the production activities”.

Inheritance of the Soviet Union, most prison sentences in Russia are served in prison centers sometimes remote from everything. Detainees are often forced to work in sewing or furniture-making workshops, for example.

A spokesman for the Russian prison secretariat FSIN explained to AFP that he could not reveal details about Navalny’s place of detention because he had no right to reveal personal data about the detainees.

The opponent’s lawyer, Vadim Kobzev, told AFP he was unaware of his client’s location.

Russian justice last week confirmed the verdict against the 44-year-old opponent in a 2014 fraud case, which Navalny, several countries and NGOs consider to be a political process.

The anti-corruption activist was arrested on January 17 on his return from Germany, where he remained for five months to recover from a poisoning he attributes to the Kremlin, which the Russian government denies.

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