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Alexei Navalny transferred to supermax penal colony infamous for torture

Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny has been transferred from Correctional Colony No. 2 in Pokrov (IK-2) to Maximum Security Colony IK-6 in Melekhovo, Vladimir region, RIA Novosti reports citing Sergei Yazhan, chairman of the region’s Public Oversight Commission.

IK-6 is known for reports of prisoner torture. For example, in 2021, Pavel Zotov, who served his sentence in the Vladimir region’s penal colonies from 2009 to 2021, claimed he had been tortured. He recounted that in Correctional Colony 6 inmates wearing police garb put him on the floor, undressed him, tied his hands and feet and beat him in the groin with a truncheon. In December 2021, inmate Zhobir Zhuraev, 27, described how guards and inmates cooperating with the administration systematically beat, tortured, starved, and threatened to rape him.

On July 14, Alexei Navalny’s press secretary Kira Yarmysh reported that the ACF founder had been transferred from the penal colony IK-2 in Pokrov.

“The lawyer who came to see him was held at the colony entrance until 2 p.m., and was told there was no such inmate. Where Alexei is now and where they are taking him, we do not know,” she wrote.

According to Yarmysh, neither the lawyers nor Alexei’s relatives were informed in advance about his transfer.

“The problem with the transfer to another colony is not only that a high-security colony is much scarier. All the time we don’t know where Alexei is, he is face to face with the system that has already tried to kill him. So, we need to find him as soon as possible,” Yarmysh wrote.

Navalny was sent to a penal colony after the Simonovsky district court changed his suspended sentence in the “Yves Rocher” case to a real one of 3.5 years in prison in early February. The formal reason was that the oppositionist failed to report to the penal commission on the appointed days, and since August 2020, after being poisoned with Novichok and transported to Germany, he stopped showing up at the inspector’s office altogether.

Navalny and his lawyers assured the court that the oppositionist could not have physically visited the inspector as he had been treated, first as an inpatient and then as an outpatient, in a German clinic, of which he had notified the penitentiary inspectorate.

On March 22 the court sentenced Alexey Navalny to 9 years of strict regime in the “fraud and contempt of court” case. The Lefortovo court session took place right in the penal colony IK2 in Pokrov, where Navalny was serving his sentence in the “Yves Rocher” case. The prosecutor Nadezhda Tikhonova had asked for 13 years in a strict regime penal colony. A day earlier, Vladimir Putin promoted the judge who handled Navalny’s case.

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