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Russian Opposition Leader Alexey Navalny Dies in Custody - 123 Views

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Russian Opposition Leader Alexey Navalny Dies in Custody

Jailed Russian opposition figure and prominent Kremlin critic, Alexey Navalny, has passed away at the age of 47, according to the Russian prison service. Navalny gained international attention in 2020 when he was poisoned with a nerve agent, and his subsequent return to Russia in 2021 led to his swift arrest on charges he dismissed as politically motivated. He remained incarcerated since then, with his supporters alleging that his arrest aimed to silence his criticism of President Vladimir Putin.

Navalny’s death comes just ahead of Russia’s presidential election scheduled for March 17, where Putin is seeking his fifth term, potentially allowing him to retain power until 2030.

In August, Navalny was sentenced to 19 years in prison on charges including creating an extremist community and financing extremist activists. Prior to his death, Navalny was already serving sentences totaling 11-and-a-half years on fraud and other charges, which he denied.

Reports of Navalny’s disappearance in December raised concerns, and after filing numerous requests, his legal team announced on December 25 that they had located him in the IK-3 penal colony in Kharp, known as “Polar Wolf.” The harsh conditions in this facility included a special regime in the permafrost zone, making it challenging to access, and lacking letter delivery systems.

The circumstances surrounding Navalny’s death are likely to intensify global scrutiny of Russia’s human rights record and its treatment of political dissent.

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