Russia Criticizes US Interference in Jailed Opposition Leader Navalny Case

Tue Dec 12 2023
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MOSCOW: Russia has criticized what it labeled as “interference” by the United States in the case of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, whose allies have expressed uncertainty about his whereabouts.

The United States, a day earlier, expressed “deep concern” over Navalny’s team reporting no access to him for almost a week and rumors that he was removed from the prison where he had been detained for months.

“We are talking about a prisoner who was found guilty by the law and is serving the prison sentence he received. Any interference, including from the US, is unacceptable,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

US Reservations of Russia’s Jailed Opposition Leader

On Monday, the United States insisted that Navalny should be “released immediately” and said that “he should never have been jailed in the first place.”

Navalny’s team reported that the politician, serving a 19-year sentence, had missed several court hearings, and lawyers were informed that he was taken out of his prison.

“Today, Alexei was again not taken to court via video link,” his exiled spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said on social media Tuesday. “An employee of the IK-6 (prison colony) stated that Alexey’ left the colony,’ but apparently, nobody knows where he was taken,” she added.

It marked the seventh day that Navalny’s allies had no contact with him. This summer, a court extended Navalny’s sentence to 19 years and ordered his transfer to a harsher “special regime” prison.

Navalny’s allies linked his disappearance and possible transfer to a harsher prison with President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of his intention to extend his long rule by running for a fifth presidential term in March.

Russia’s extensive prison system often takes weeks or longer to move prisoners between distant facilities by rail.

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