In his latest message from prison, incarcerated opposition leader Alexei Navalny has said that prison officials are barring him from obtaining the food he buys from the commissary (every prisoner has the right to buy food in addition to mandatory rations). Formally, Navalny has the right to buy additional food for 5,000 roubles ($60) a month, but never receives it.
The penal colony’s regulations state prisoners have to buy food for a month in advance. If a prisoner is not present to collect the purchased food (for example, if he goes on a long visit or is sent to a punishment cell), he then writes an application, and the food is not provided, and the money for it is returned. This rule has been replaced by another, writes Navalny, and the food is now destroyed after it is shown to the prisoner, who has no right to receive it:
“Under the new rules, those in the SHIZO [punishment cell – The Insider] are still supposed to receive food, but they are not given it. They just show you the food and then throw it away because it has expired.
Here's how it happens. The cell door opens. A cop with a bag says: ‘Navalny, here is the food you bought. Sign here for the hard-boiled eggs. We're throwing them out, they're expired. There's also potatoes and rice here for you. We'll dispose of them. They'll go bad tomorrow. Oh! Is that a bun? Did you buy it for some kind of holiday? You really live in style. Sign here for the bun and here for its disposal. It's perishable food, after all!’
Hats off to whoever came up with that. You don't just spend all your money and get nothing, they also make you look at the food you didn't get.”
Recent reports have confirmed that a new criminal case against Navalny is in the works following a provocation with one of his cellmates, according to his lawyer Vadim Kobzev.
On April 11, Navalny was ordered to serve a 15-day stint in a punishment cell for the 13th time.