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Navalny Accuses Russian Prison of Withholding Wife’s ‘Criminal’ Letters

Alexei Navalny and Yulia Navalnaya. Alexei Navalny / Instagram

Jailed Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny on Monday accused prison officials of withholding letters from his wife over claims that they contained “signs of preparation for a crime.”

Navalny, who is being held in a high-security prison colony some 250 kilometers east of Moscow, said he has received daily updates from prison administrators that they cannot deliver Yulia Navalnaya’s letters to him. 

“The correspondence was seized by the [prison] censor because it contained signs of preparation for a crime,” the 47-year-old Navalny wrote on the social media website X (formerly Twitter).

The jailed activist jokingly said that he had asked his wife to stop preparing crimes! Instead, cook a borscht for the kids.

However, she can't stop. She continues to invent new crimes and keeps writing to me about them in letters,” he continued.

Earlier in November, Navalny said the administration of Penal Colony No. 6 in the Vladimir region used the same crime-prevention argument to seize 15 letters both addressed to and written by him.

Last month, Navalny refused to attend a court hearing inside his prison to protest being deprived of writing materials, his only means of communication with the outside world.

Navalny, who has been in and out of solitary confinement for months, was placed in a small “isolation cell” in retaliation. His allies say this was his 21st time in solitary confinement since being jailed on fraud charges in 2021.

A court inside the penal colony in August increased Navalny’s sentence to 19 years on charges of creating an “extremist” organization. 

He will soon be moved to a "special regime" colony, the harshest type of prison reserved for Russia's worst criminals, which will severely limit his contact with lawyers and family.

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