The Courier-Mail

Fears for ‘vanished’ Navalny

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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.

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