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“A 2.5x3 meter concrete shoebox with a hole in the floor and two cameras under the ceiling“ — Alexei Navalny sent to a punishment cell

Alexei Navalny, the founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, being held in a Russian prison, has been placed in a punishment cell.

The formal reason for the detention was that Navalny «regularly unbuttoned» the top button of his prison shirt while in the industrial zone. The politician himself and his associates consider it a revenge for the creation of a union for prisoners, which Navalny announced a few days ago.

Navalny was placed in a punishment cell for the term of three days, but, as he himself writes, he was promised it would be his ”permanent residence” if he didn't ”reconsider his attitude.”

The politician says the punishment cell is, hierarchically, the harshest legal punishment in the penitentiary system:

”The way it's set up is as follows. A 2.5x3-meter concrete shoebox. Most of the time the conditions are unbearable there because it is cold and damp. I have a beach version - it is very hot and there is almost no air. The window is tiny. There is no ventilation. At night you lie there and feel like a fish thrown on the shore. The iron bunk is fastened to the wall. At 5 a.m. they take away the mattress and pillow (they are called «soft gear») and raise the bunk. At 9 p.m., the bunk is lowered again. An iron table and bench, a sink, a hole in the floor. There are two cameras under the ceiling. Visits are forbidden, letters are forbidden, parcels are forbidden. The only place in prison where even smoking is forbidden. They give paper and pen for 1 hour 15 minutes a day. A one-hour walk in a similar cell, but with a piece of sky above. Constant searches and hands behind the back all the time”.

On August 11, Navalny announced the creation of the «Promzona» union for inmates and prison staff, whose purpose is to monitor whether people's rights are respected.

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