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Navalny says will be sent to ‘most severe’ prison cell

Navalny says will be sent to ‘most severe’ prison cell

A screen shows jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny as he arrives to listen to a hearing on an appeal lodged against a court decision to jail him for 19 years in a maximum security prison on extremism-linked charges, at a court in Moscow

MOSCOW, Sept 28 — Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said yesterday that he would be transferred to the strictest possible prison cell for an entire year, a day after a court rejected his appeal against a 19-year sentence.

Navalny last month had his sentence more than doubled from nine to 19 years, with a court also ruling to send him to a harsher “special regime” facility, rather than the current maximum security prison where he is held.

The 47-year-old, whose appearance has changed significantly while behind bars, has spent recent months in and out of isolation cells.

“Yesterday, right after my appeal, I was taken to a commission and told that — due to my incorrigibility — I will be transferred to an ‘EPKT’ for a period of 12 months,” he posted on social media, referring to cells widely considered to have the harshest confinement conditions.

“This is the most severe possible punishment in penal colonies of all types,” he said.

It was unclear if this would be in a special regime prison or in the maximum security prison outside Moscow where he is currently held.

Navalny galvanised huge nationwide protests in Russia before he was jailed in 2021 on fraud charges after returning from Germany, where he recovered from a poison attack.

In August, a court in his prison outside Moscow handed him a 19-year term on accusations of creating an organisation that undermined public security by carrying out “extremist activities”.

Navalny has denounced the Kremlin’s Ukraine offensive from behind bars and called on Russians not to lose “the will to resist”. — AFP