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Navalny Says Risks ‘Torture-Like’ Solitary Confinement With Prison Reprimands

The prison camp where Navalny is serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence is infamous for psychological isolation and harsh conditions. Babushkinsky District Court Press Service

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said Monday that he risks being sent to “torture-like” solitary confinement after he received several reprimands at a notoriously harsh penal colony.

Navalny, 44, is serving a sentence of two and a half years for violating parole in an old fraud case while recovering abroad from poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin.

In his latest social media update, Navalny said administrators at Penal Colony No. 2 east of Moscow handed him six reprimands over two weeks. The prison camp outside the Vladimir region town of Pokrov is infamous for psychological isolation and harsh conditions for inmates.

Navalny added that he faces 20 more reprimands for infractions that include “getting up 10 minutes before wake-up” and “wearing a T-shirt at a meeting with lawyers.” Another colony where Navalny had been held for a two-week coronavirus quarantine issued four reprimands in two weeks.

“You get two reprimands and can go to solitary confinement, which is an unpleasant thing with conditions that are close to torture,” Navalny wrote.

The reprimands mean that President Vladimir Putin’s most vocal domestic critic is no longer eligible for early parole, his lawyer said last week. Navalny’s lawyers have raised concerns over his health in recent days and he himself has shared fears of losing his leg due to prison authorities’ inaction.

The politician’s latest update from the penal colony he has called “a real concentration camp 100 kilometers from Moscow” was accompanied by his first prison photo.

Navalny’s imprisonment in January immediately after his return to Russia from Germany, where he was treated for poisoning with a military-grade nerve agent, sparked mass nationwide protests, outcry from rights groups and condemnation from the West.

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