Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died in prison: State media

Imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died, state media reported, citing the prison service of the region where he had been serving a 19-year sentence on charges of extremism.

In a statement on Friday quoted by state media, the federal prison service said Navalny “felt bad” after a walk and lost consciousness “almost immediately”. Navalny spokesperson Kira Yarmysh said his lawyer was travelling to the remote prison colony north of the Arctic Circle.

The 47-year-old was in the IK-3 penal colony in Kharp, in the Yamalo-Nenets region, about 1,900km northeast of Moscow, where he was transferred in December.

Navalny aide Leonid Volkov posted on X: “Russian authorities publish a confession that they killed Alexei Navalny in prison. We do not have any way to confirm it or to prove this isn’t true.”

The United Nations says it is “appalled” at news that the Kremlin’s most prominent critic, Alexei Navalny, died in prison and urges Russian authorities to “end the persecution”.

“If someone dies in the custody of the state, the presumption is that the state is responsible – a responsibility that can only be rebutted through an impartial, thorough and transparent investigation carried out by an independent body,” UN rights office spokeswoman Liz Throssell said in a statement.

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