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Oleg Navalny, brother of the prominent Kremlin critic and politician Alexei Navalny, has been put in a punishment cell for 15 days and is to be transferred to maximum security conditions after writing a first blog article for the Russian journal Novoye Vremya [New Times].
Alexei Navalny reports that his brother’s lawyer has still not been able to see the documents formalizing both the punishment cell and the maximum security transfer. Delay in providing them, he says, is for one obvious reason – to obstruct their appeal.
Mediazona had earlier reported the 15-day punishment which was supposedly for “persistent infringement – holding and using prohibited items”, though the penitentiary service representative declined to specify which particular “prohibited items”.
The anonymous “items’ were found shortly after his blog entitled “Potemkin Prison” was published. In it, he explains that the authorities have learned their lesson after the bad press they got for the conditions imposed on the two Pussy Riot members imprisoned, and are following all the rules with him.
He notes that if you look at the documents used to imprison around 90% of the prisoners, then you should either release them or reduce their sentences. Worryingly, he reports that the prisoners don’t like the government and Putin (he explains that they hate the police, and FSB [security service] people even more), yet they support Russia’s position on Ukraine and Crimea. Here, however, he mentions the influence of Pyervy Kanal and NTV [both heavily pro-Kremlin and full of propaganda] as their main source of information.
The three-year sentence passed on Oleg Navalny at the end of December 2014 was widely seen as hostage-taking and an attempt to stifle his brother, a leading political opposition figure.................
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