News Tech: Aug 24 (Reuters) – Jailed Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny said on Wednesday that prison authorities had transferred him to a punishment cell for the second time this month at the facility where he is being held on charges he says are trumped up.
In a post on his Twitter and Instagram accounts, each with millions of followers, Navalny wrote via his lawyers that he had been sent to a punishment cell for five days for briefly walking without his hands behind his back in violation of prison rules.
Navalny, President Vladimir Putin’s most vocal critic inside Russia, is serving an 11-1/2 year sentence after being found guilty of parole violations and fraud and contempt of court charges. He says all charges against him were fabricated as a pretext to smother dissent and thwart his political ambitions.
“At this rate, this will become my permanent place of residence,” the 46-year-old said, referring to the cell as a “hellish closet”.
Last year Navalny voluntarily returned to Russia from Germany where he had been treated for what Western laboratory tests showed was a near-fatal attempt to poison him in Siberia with a Soviet-era nerve agent. Russia denies trying to kill him.
RegisterReporting by Reuters
Editing by Mark Heinrich Source: Reuters Trust Principles.