Moscow (dpa) – The team led by Russian Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has expressed concern about his detention conditions.
Navalny is being held in Moscow’s infamous sailors’ rest prison, the head of Navalny’s anti-corruption foundation, Ivan Zhdanov, wrote on Twitter. There was initially no official confirmation.
There have always been mysterious deaths in prison – lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, among others, died there in 2009. Shdanov wrote that part of the pre-trial detention center was controlled by the domestic intelligence agency FSB – “the FSB trying to poison Navalny”.
The 44-year-old did not return to Moscow until Sunday. He had previously been treated in Germany after a poison attack with the neurotoxin Novitschok in August in Tomsk, Siberia.
Navalny is now in real custody for the first time, writes his spokeswoman Kira Jarmysch. There is almost no contact with him.
Previously, Navalny was sentenced to 30 days in prison in controversial urgent proceedings in a Russian police station. The reason given was that Navalny had violated reporting requirements in a previous criminal case. The Russian opposition leader criticized the process as a political staging with the aim of silencing him. He called on his supporters to protest. New arrests were made.
The Russian leadership was largely silent on the Navalny trial. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held an online press conference in Moscow, but stressed that he was not responsible for the legal side of things in Russia. That is a matter for the Russian security bodies. Nevertheless, he again called on Germany to prove that Navalny had been poisoned.
The Russian public prosecutor accused Germany of failing to answer requests for mutual legal assistance in a very informative manner. “This shows the intention of foreign colleagues to hide the truth of the incident in order to continue unfounded allegations against the Russian side,” he said. On Friday, the German authorities announced that they had responded to the Russian requests. Berlin also again called on Moscow to investigate the crime against Navalny.
Navalny and his team blame Russian President Vladimir Putin and the FSB for the poison attack involving the neurotoxin Novichok. Putin and the FSB deny the allegations. Navalny was arrested on Sunday immediately after landing at Moscow airport. He was advertised for a search, the penal system said as the reason.