Navalny probably moved to prison camp, says lawyer

Lawyer says move would violate the law, adding that Navalny’s relatives have not been informed of his whereabouts.

Jailed Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny has been moved to an undisclosed detention centre outside Moscow that may be a prison camp, according to his lawyer and a member of a rights organisation.

Navalny, a prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin, was jailed earlier this month for alleged parole violations related to an embezzlement case he said was trumped up for political reasons, which the authorities have denied.

The European Сourt of Human Rights has also ruled the case unlawful and, citing risks to Navalny’s life in custody, ordered the Russian government to release him.

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Russia has rebuffed the court’s demand as unlawful and “inadmissible” meddling in the country’s affairs.

Navalny is due to spend just more than two and a half years behind bars, according to his lawyers.

One of his lawyers, Vadim Kobzev, said on Twitter that Navalny was moved from the Moscow jail, later adding that the politician could have been taken to a prison camp.

Kobzev said such a move was against the law, adding that Navalny’s relatives had not been informed of his whereabouts.

RIA news agency reported that Eva Merkacheva, a member of Moscow’s public monitoring committee for human rights, said Navalny was sent to a standard penal colony, the location of which should be disclosed when he arrived there.

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Navalny, 44, was arrested on January 17 after his return from Germany, where he spent five months recovering from a nerve-agent poisoning that he blamed on the Kremlin.

Russia has rejected the accusation and accused Navalny of cooperating with Western intelligence agencies – claims he has ridiculed.

Navalny’s arrest drove a wave of protests, drawing tens of thousands to the streets across Russia.

Authorities have detained about 11,000 people, many of whom were fined or given jail terms ranging from seven to 15 days.

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His detention has also raised political tensions between Moscow and Western nations, which are preparing additional sanctions against Russian officials.


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