Aug 15, 2022 - World

Putin critic Alexei Navalny says he's in solitary confinement

Alexey Navalny is seen on the screen during his legal appeal against his nine-year prison sentence
Alexei Navalny is seen on the screen during his legal appeal against his nine-year prison sentence, in Moscow's City Court, on May 24. Photo: Contributor/Getty Images

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said on Monday he has been placed in solitary confinement in the Russian prison where he's being held.

Driving the news: One of Russian President Vladimir Putin's sharpest critics, Navalny was sentenced to nine years in prison on counts of fraud and contempt of court in March.

The big picture: In an extended Twitter thread, Navalny explained that he had been rallying and organizing prisoners to advocate for their rights being respected and for better conditions.

  • "The Kremlin wants to see its Gulag composed of silent slaves. But here I am, rallying people and demanding that some laws be obeyed, instead of begging for pardon," he wrote in one tweet.
  • Navalny said he was subsequently summoned before the prison's commission and accused of "regularly unbuttoning the top button of my prison robe" and that this "characterizes me as an unrepentant, incorrigible villain."
  • "That is why the decision was made to place me in the special housing unit."
  • Navalny described his new holding cell as a "2.5x3 meter concrete kennel" that was "very hot" with "almost no air." Those in solitary confinement receive "no visits, no letters, no parcels," he added.

What they're saying: "I must admit, it's quite ironic. Oh, you got the prison workers to get the wooden stools replaced with chairs with backs? Well, then you'll be sitting on an iron bench yourself, haha," he added in one tweet.

  • "It’s only 3 days so far, but in the middle of September I have a visit from my relatives, which I am supposed to have once every 4 months. No visits are allowed to those in the SHU, so they say that unless I 'reconsider my attitude', it will become my permanent residence," he added, referring to the solitary confinement quarters.
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