Home » Russian opponent Alexeï Navalny dies in prison at 47 – rts.ch

Russian opponent Alexeï Navalny dies in prison at 47 – rts.ch

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Russian opponent Alexeï Navalny dies in prison at 47 – rts.ch

Russian opposition figure and number one adversary of the Kremlin Alexei Navalny died on Friday in a prison in the Russian Arctic, where he was serving a 19-year sentence, the Kharp prison service said. The activist was 47 years old.

“On February 16, 2024, in penitentiary center No. 3, prisoner Navalny AA felt unwell after a walk and almost immediately lost consciousness,” said the penitentiary services of the Arctic region of Iamal in a press release, assuring that the emergency services had tried to save him.

“All the necessary resuscitation measures were carried out but did not give a positive result. The emergency doctors noted the death of the patient. The causes of death are being established,” it is specified in this pithy text. A local hospital cited by the Interfax agency then indicated that Russian doctors tried for more than 30 minutes but without success to resuscitate the opponent.

The opponent had participated by video the day before in two hearings before a court in the Vladimir region, and had not expressed any complaints regarding his health, said the state press agency Ria Novosti .

>> Read also: “This political assassination is the logical outcome of the persecution inflicted on Alexeï Navalny”

Kharp is a small town in Yamalo-Nenetsia, a remote region in northern Russia 1900 kilometers from Moscow. Several penal colonies are located there. [Google Map – RTS]

The Moscow authorities have also warned residents of the Russian capital against any “unauthorized” demonstrations. “Organizing, holding or calling and participating in such events constitutes an administrative offense,” warned the Prosecutor General’s Office in Moscow, saying it “warns against any violation of the law.”

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In Russia, any public criticism of power is punishable by prison. In several cities across the country, however, Russians lined up to lay flowers at the feet of monuments to victims of political repression under the USSR, in tribute to Alexeï Navalny.

A 19-year prison sentence for “extremism”

The 47-year-old activist was serving a 19-year prison sentence for “extremism” in a remote Arctic penal colony, under very difficult conditions. His multiple trials had been widely denounced as political and a way of punishing him for his opposition to Vladimir Putin.

The Russian president was informed of the death, according to his spokesperson Dmitry Peskov.

During various hearings in trials in which he participated by video in recent months, Alexeï Navalny appeared emaciated and aged. He had a series of health problems linked to a hunger strike and the poisoning he suffered in 2020 and which he miraculously survived.

>> Watch the documentary dedicated to the poisoning of Alexeï Navalny: Navalny: investigation into a poisoning / On the Docs / 94 min. / Wednesday at 11:30 p.m.

>> Read also: Russian opponent Alexeï Navalny located in an Arctic penitentiary

Multiple criticisms of Vladimir Putin

Prison had not dampened Alexeï Navalny’s determination. During the hearings and in messages posted on social networks through his lawyers, he continues to insult Vladimir Putin, described as “grandpa hiding in a bunker”, because the Russian president rarely appears in public .

In his trial for “extremism”, he castigated “the stupidest and most senseless war of the 21st century”, referring to the Russian assault on Ukraine.

His death after three years of detention and a poisoning of which he accused the Kremlin deprives an already bloodless opposition of its figurehead, the Kremlin having orchestrated a merciless repression of all its detractors, in particular since the start of its assault against the Ukraine two years ago.

Russian opponents speak of murder

“If this is the truth, I would like Putin, his entire staff, his entire entourage, his entire government, his friends, to know that they will be punished for what they did to our country, to my family and to my husband. They will be brought to justice and that day will come soon,” declared, very moved, the wife of the opponent Yulia Navalnaïa from the podium of the Munich Security Conference.

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The 2021 Russian Nobel Peace Prize winner, Dmitri Muratov, described the death of Alexei Navalny as “murder” and “scary news”. “The murder was added to Alexeï Navalny’s sentence,” denounced the editor-in-chief of the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta in a message published by this media, which was banned in Russia in 2022 in the wake of the assault on Moscow in Ukraine.

Another opponent, Garry Kasparov judged that Vladimir Putin had “failed to kill Navalny quickly and secretly by having him poisoned and now he has murdered him slowly and publicly in prison”. He “was killed for exposing Putin and his mafia as the crooks and thieves that they are,” added the former world chess champion.

Russian dissident Oleg Orlov criticized Vladimir Putin’s “crime of the regime”. “This is terrible news, a tragedy for all of us,” this veteran human rights defender, on trial since Friday for having repeatedly denounced the attack against Ukraine, added to journalists.

For Russian writer Boris Akunin, “an assassinated Alexei Navalny will be a greater threat to the dictator than a living Alexei Navalny. The dictator can no longer do anything against Navalny, Navalny is dead and has become immortal,” declared the writer in exile since 2014. “He will end up burying Putin,” he concluded.

>> The portrait of Alexeï Navalny in the 7:30 p.m.: Portrait of Alexeï Navalny, main opponent of President Vladimir Putin, who died Friday at the age of 47 / 7:30 p.m. / 2 min. / yesterday at 7:30 p.m.

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