Putin critic Alexei Navalny moved to notorious 'concentration camp'

Tuesday, March 16

By Ciarán Mather

Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition politician and frequent critic of the Kremlin, has reportedly been sent to a prison colony, which has been compared to a 'concentration camp.'

Before the recent announcement, Navalny’s precise location had been unknown after his legal team said last week that he had been moved from the nearby Kolchugino to serve a two and a half years sentence for embezzlement.

Now, they claim that the 44-year-old has been sent to a prison colony in Pokrov, which is located in the Vladimir region of north-eastern Moscow.

In a message on the politician's official Instagram account yesterday, his team said (translated from Russian): '

'I have to admit that the Russian prison system was able to surprise me.'

'I had no idea that it was possible to arrange [to be sent to] a real concentration camp 100km from Moscow.'

The post notably showed a stoic Navalny with a new, tightly cropped haircut.

He added that video cameras were everywhere, and at the slightest violation, guards make a report.

'I think someone upstairs read Orwell’s 1984 and said: "Yeah, cool. Let’s do this. Education through dehumanisation," he explained.

Navalny also said that while he has not seen any hints of violence so far, he shared his belief that he could 'easily believe' previous reports of brutality due to the 'tense posture of the convicts.'

In mid-January, Mr. Navalny was taken into police custody shortly after landing at a Moscow airport from Germany.

He had previously been treated at the country for a near-fatal poisoning with the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok.

During Alexei Navalny's trial, the Kremlin and its supporters notably highlighted his role in nationalist politics in the 2000s and used the courts to portray him as being unpatriotic.

Both Germany and the United States have imposed sanctions on senior Russian officials following his arrest and conviction.

In addition, the European Court of Human Rights has also called on Putin to free Navalny.

He was also convicted of slandering a World War II veteran, although this crime did not add any time to his sentence.