Russian opposition leader, ALEXEI NAVALNY's jail was 'visited by Russian security officers days before he died'

Monday, February 19, 2024
 – Russian security officers visited Alexei Navalny's prison just a few days before he died amid allegations the Kremlin critic was murdered.

Two days before he died from 'sudden death syndrome' on Friday, two officers from the Russian intelligence service FSB are alleged to have disconnected some of the CCTV and recording devices at the Polar Wolf Arctic prison.

According to a report on the human rights campaign group website, the visit was mentioned in a report by a branch of the Federal Penitentiary Service.

Russian investigators are alleged to have told the opposition leader's mother as she visited the brutal IK-3 Polar Wolf penal colony where he was being held.

Lyudmila Navalnaya was seen on Saturday travelling to the colony in northern Russia, where she was told her son died after returning from a walk at 2.17pm local time on Friday.

His press secretary, Kira Yarmysh, claimed in a video that Navalnaya had been murdered.

Ms Yarmysh said: 'The whole world knows that the president of Russia personally gave this order [for his murder] just as it knows that Alexei was never afraid of him, never stayed silent and that he never stopped acting. We must not give up. This is what Alexei urged us to do,' The Times reported.

Navalny's allies say they were denied the opportunity to see the body, which would remain with the authorities until an investigation was complete.

Navalny's lawyer, who arrived in the town of Salekhard with Navalny's mother on Saturday, was allegedly told by the prison that the body was being held in the morgue.

A contact at the Salekhard morgue later denied the body was there - leaving yet more question marks around the shock death of one of Putin's most fierce critics.

'It's obvious that the killers want to cover their tracks and are therefore not handing over Alexei's body, hiding it even from his mother,' his team said in a post on Telegram.

Navalnaya and his widow, Yulia Navalnaya, have two children together, Daria, 23, and Zakhar, 15.

She condemned Putin's regime in a conference on Friday, swearing he will 'bear responsibility' for what happened.

In London, the Foreign Office summoned diplomats at the Russian Embassy and called for Mr Navalny's death to be 'investigated fully and transparently' as Lord David Cameron warned there would be 'consequences' for the death.

The G7 demanded Russia 'stop its unacceptable persecution of political dissent, as well as systematic repression of freedom of expression and unduly limitation of civil rights,' in the statement.

Alexei Navalny, the fiercest foe of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was reported to have died in prison on Friday, according to Russia's prison agency.

The Federal Prison Service said in a statement that Navalny, 47, felt unwell after a walk and 'almost immediately lost consciousness'.

Paramedics reportedly came to try to rehabilitate him without success.

Navalny, who was serving a 19-year sentence on charges of 'extremism', had only recently been moved from his former prison in the Vladimir region of central Russia to a grisly 'special regime' penal colony above the Arctic Circle.

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