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“They’re threatening to do something to my son's body”: Navalny's mother says authorities are demanding secret burial

Alexei Navalny's mother Lyudmila was shown her son's body, but authorities are still refusing to release it to the politician’s family. In a video message released earlier today, Navalnya says that law enforcement officials threatened to “do something” with Navalny’s body if she did not agree to a secret burial.

According to her, the Investigative Committee officers plan to bury Alexei in secret and then show her where he is buried.

“[The] investigator Voropayev openly told me: ‘Time’s not on your side, bodies decompose,’” Lyudmila Navalnaya quoted one of the officers as saying.

The politician's mother said she spent almost a day at the Investigative Committee of the city of Salekhard, alone with investigators and criminalists. An attorney for the family was only allowed to attend in the afternoon on February 22.

“Last night they secretly took me to the morgue where they showed [me] Alexei. The investigators claim that they know the cause of death, they have all the medical and legal documents. I saw them already and signed the medical certificate of death.
By law, they should have given me Alexei's body immediately, but instead they’re setting conditions and blackmailing me: where, when and how Alexei should be buried. This is illegal.
They receive orders from either the Kremlin or the central office of the Investigative Committee right in front of me. They want it to be done secretly, without a funeral service. They want to bring me to the outskirts of the cemetery, to a fresh grave, and say: ‘Here lies your son.’ I do not agree to this, I want me and you to have an opportunity to say goodbye to Alexei,” said Lyudmila Navalnaya.

A medical death certificate shown to Alexei Navalny's mother said the cause of death was natural, as per a tweet from Navalny's press secretary Kira Yarmysh.

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