Alexei Navalny facing ‘deeply disturbing’ treatment in prison

Russia: Alexei Navalny facing ‘deeply disturbing’ treatment in prison, according to reports

Alexei Navalny was transferred from penal colony IK-5 to penal colony IK-6, where his treatment by the administration and colony guards has become harsher. He has been placed in a punishment cell four times, and is denied family visits, parcels and letters.

Mr Navalny had been imprisoned in a punishment cell (shtrafnoy izolyator, or SHIZO, in Russian) four times since August 15th, either for minor infractions of the prison dress code, such an unfastened button on his prison shirt, or with no justification at all.

Mr Navalny is prohibited from receiving mail, packages, or visits from relatives while in SHIZO. According to reports submitted to Amnesty International, the prisoner of conscience has also been classified as a “malicious offender” of the penal colony’s rules and is now being held under “tight terms of confinement.” This means, among other things, that he is only permitted four rather than six visits from family members each year.

Mr Navalny has reportedly been stripped of his right to have confidential communication with his lawyer and has had his communication with other prisoners severely restricted. He was informed by the colony’s administration that he would no longer be allowed to communicate with his lawyer in confidence in addition to the other sanctions against him. As a result, Aleksei Navalny can no longer exchange or look at any documents with his attorney without doing so through an opaque plastic sheet.

Other detainees are apparently barred from speaking to or even looking at Aleksei Navalny, drastically restricting their ability to communicate with him. His coworkers and a Russian human rights activist claim that whenever Navalny walks by, an alert is sounded telling the other inmates to either turn away from him or go away from the windows.