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Navalny says a «prison in prison» awaits him at Melekhovo maximum security colony where prisoners are said to be tortured

Alexei Navalny says inmates from the maximum-security colony IK-6, located in Melekhovo, Vladimir region, told him about a «prison in prison» that's being prepared especially for him.

«My sentence has not yet entered into force, but inmates from the Melekhovo maximum-security colony write they are setting up a «prison in prison» for me there. They say if you google Melekhovo, you'll get stories about prisoners getting their fingernails pulled out,» Navalny says.

The ACF founder also joked he would have an excuse to use a «fancy emoji», attaching an icon depicting fingernails being painted with nail polish.

Last March, Mediazona reported about systematic torture and sexual violence in Correctional Colony 6. Former convict Ivan Fomin claimed the colony chief Roman Sahakyan threatened him to make him give up his lawyer. He was also forced under pressure to adopt Orthodoxy and abandon Islam, which he had adopted several years before he was detained in connection with a criminal case. Convicts who were tortured, raped and beaten were unable to get up and walk for days after the torture; the bruises turned black and did not heal for days.

On March 22 the court sentenced Alexey Navalny to 9 years in a maximum-security prison for «fraud and contempt of court». The Lefortovo court session took place right in the penal colony № 2 in Pokrov, where Navalny was already serving his sentence in the Yves Rocher case. Prosecutor Nadezhda Tikhonova demanded 13 years in a maximum-security penal colony. A day earlier, Vladimir Putin had promoted the judge handling Navalny's case.

Navalny was accused of using donations collected by the ACF and Navalny's headquarters for his and his supporters' personal gain. At the same time, Navalny was accused of disrespecting the participants of the trial during the hearings in the defamation case, in particular for using the phrases «Obersturmbannfuhrer», «you are such shameless people, a pack of thieves», «not-quite-dead-yet grandfather monger».

During the trial, which lasted more than a month, 16 prosecution witnesses were questioned. One of the victims was Fyodor Gorozhanko, a former ACF employee: he described the charges against Navalny as absurd and said that during his interrogation, the investigators put pressure on him. Another victim - Mikhail Kostenko - stated during the session he had no claims against Navalny. During the reading of the verdict, Judge Margarita Kotova did not mention his testimony.

There were almost 30 defense witnesses who had donated to the ACF on a regular basis. All of them claimed that the ACF's activity had been transparent and that they had made their donations voluntarily. In the contempt of court case, the prosecution called a witness, expert Natalia Kryukova, who had conducted a linguistic expertise of Navalny's words without being properly qualified. Kryukova also classified the phrase «Oh my God» as insulting: in her opinion, it was the tone that made the words sound contemptuous. Navalny himself called the charges trumped up.

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