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Russian Supreme Court rejects Navalny’s claims against Ministry of Justice

Russia’s Supreme Court has dismissed two lawsuits filed by Alexei Navalny against the Russian Ministry of Justice. The politician, currently incarcerated in the IK-3 penal colony north of the Arctic Circle, wanted several clauses of internal prison regulations to be recognized as invalid, reports independent outlet Mediazona.

Navalny challenged the right to have no more than one copy of religious literature in EPKTs (single cell-type rooms), SHIZOs (punishment isolators), and PKTs (cell-type rooms). Navalny also wanted to challenge the rules according to which prisoners are given 15 minutes to eat, which causes them to burn their mouths with hot food.

In a post on Telegram prior to the hearing, Navalny wrote:

“Tomorrow, on January 11, I will be at the Supreme Court. [It will] review my lawsuit to recognize the internal regulations limiting the amount of religious literature as illegal.
No one talks about it, but everyone who's in prison knows that it started with the fight against Muslims and the study of Islam in [Russia’s] penal colonies. And then it spread to all religious people.
To hear our officials say that Russia is the bastion of conservatism in the world. In fact, in this conservatism I'm not allowed to have the New Testament and the Book of Psalms in my cell.
Interestingly, Judge Nefyodov is hearing the case. He recently recognized the LGBT movement as extremist. Well, that means that he’s definitely a conservative judge, and I should win the case [about the restriction of religious literature].”

As noted by Mediazona, during the break, when the judge left to make a decision, Navalny was given time for a short conversation with his mother Lyudmila Ivanovna, during which time the broadcast in the press center was turned off.

On January 9, reports confirmed that Navalny had been sent to a SHIZO (punishment cell) for the 24th time. The politician is currently serving a 19-year sentence in IK-3 (“Polar Wolf”) — a penal colony in Kharp in the Yamalo-Nenets Region about 1,900 km (1200 miles) northeast of Moscow. Polar Wolf is considered to be one of Russia’s harshest prisons. IK-3 is a special regime colony above the Arctic Circle, located in the permafrost zone. Accessing the prison is very difficult and there are systematic reports of abuse and torture from former and current prisoners. A former inmate described the location of the prison as the “edge of all life.”

Read more about Navalny’s new penal colony in The Insider’s recent report.

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