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Russian political prisoner Ilya Yashin sent to punishment cell for 15 days, unlawfully denied parents’ visitation

Jailed Russian opposition politician Ilya Yashin has once again been placedin a punishment cell, which is “so cold and humid you can see steam from your breath at night,” according to Yashin’s Telegram channel. The channel also reports that the formal pretext for the measure was Yashin leaving his bed in the barracks with something less than perfect punctuality: three minutes after wakeup time.

“The real reason is the administration's intention to thwart my parents’ visit, which is my lawful right. The three-day visit was scheduled to begin on Monday. But they locked me up in a [punishment cell] on Friday, thus preventing me from seeing my family. They waited for Friday evening so that my lawyer could not visit me and warn my parents. That is, not only did they cancel the visit but they made sure my father and mother traveled for 300 kilometers and stood with their bags outside the prison gate only to hear that their son was in the punishment cell and they had to head back,” Yashin said as quoted by his channel.

According to the politician, aside from mistreating his parents, the prison administration took all of his books except the Bible “under the pretext of checks, although the books had been checked and stamped by the local censor.” Yashin also noted that he had not been receiving mail for two weeks and that he had been subjected to regular searches over the same period.

As The Insider wrote, on Dec. 9, 2022, Moscow's Meshchansky District Court sentenced Yashin to eight years and six months in a general security penal colony for “spreading fakes” about the Russian army. At the time, his was the harshest sentence handed down for this “crime.” The legal proceedings against Yashin were initiated after a webstream focusing on the crimes of Russian soldiers in Bucha. Before that, Yashin had been fined $500 for “discrediting the Russian army” after he published a photo from1969 of American protests against the Vietnam War featuring the sign “Bombing for peace is like f*cking for virginity” and the caption “50 years later, the slogans are still spot-on.” In all, Yashin was charged with “discrediting the army” four times.

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