Moscow jail’s ‘facelift for Bri­tish fans’

Irish Examiner - - World News -

Rus­sian op­po­si­tion leader Alexei Navalny has walked free af­ter 30 days in cus­tody for stag­ing an un­sanc­tioned protest, not­ing with sar­casm that a Moscow jail where he was held has re­ceived a mas­sive facelift ahead of the World Cup.

Mr Navalny, Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin’s most vis­i­ble foe, said the au­thor­i­ties ap­par­ently feel “they may need to ar­rest Bri­tish fans for drunken ram­pages and don’t want things to look bad” dur­ing the Rus­si­a­hosted event.

Con­trast­ing the fa­cil­ity with reg­u­lar con­di­tions in Rus­sian pris­ons, which are no­to­ri­ously mis­er­able, he ob­served that all cells in the jail where he spent his sen­tence were freshly painted and pit la­trines were re­placed with flush­ing toi­lets.

Nor­mally poor ra­tions were re­placed with rich menus of­fer­ing am­ple choice com­plete with ha­lal op­tions, al­co­hol-free beer and var­i­ous desserts, Mr Navalny said.

On top of that, huge TV sets were put in each cell, an im­pro­vised foot­ball field was set up in the yard, and English-speak­ing uni­ver­sity stu­dents were added to the staff.

“With­out any for­eign­ers in sight, the stu­dents feel bored and com­plain loudly, de­mand­ing mass ar­rests to make ac­quain­tances,” he added.

“An­tic­i­pat­ing your ‘I want to be ar­rested’ com­ments, I would like to note that the num­ber of avail­able seats is lim­ited, and if you plan vi­o­lat­ing pub­lic or­der you need to hurry up: af­ter the World Cup is over, the golden car­riage will turn back into a pump­kin.”

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