Fears for ‘vanished’ Navalny
MOSCOW: Alexei Navalny’s supporters expressed concerns for his safety yesterday after the outspoken Kremlin critic vanished from prison in Moscow and officials refused to reveal his whereabouts.
His disappearance came a week after the European Court of Human Rights ordered Russia to free him amid fears that he could be killed in jail. He was being held in the capital’s Matrosskaya Tishina prison.
“When I arrived at the detention facility today to meet Mr Navalny, I was told he had departed,” Vadim Kobzev, his lawyer, said. “Where he had gone, they didn’t say. Most likely to a prison camp, but possibly somewhere else.”
Mr Navalny, 44, was arrested last month after arriving in Moscow from Germany, where he had been recovering from a nerve agent assassination attempt that he says was ordered by Vladimir Putin.
He was jailed this month for 2½ years on trumped-up fraud charges he says were politically motivated. A court rejected his appeal against the sentence.