Oleg Navalny goes free at the end of the month, and prison staff are taking their last chance to give him hell

Meduza

Oleg Navalny, the brother of opposition politician Alexey, is due to go free from prison at the end of the month, but his fast-approaching release hasn’t discouraged the prison staff from locking him up in a “special punishment cell” for the remainder of his sentence.

Alexey Navalny’s website reported on Friday that Oleg has been moved to a pomeshchenie kamernogo tipa. In late May, Oleg Navalny was moved to “punitive confinement” for the seventh time in his 3.5-year prison sentence. He will go free on June 30.

In April, the Presidium of the Russian Supreme Court refused to overturn the December 2014 verdict in the so-called “Yves Rocher” case that sent Oleg Navalny to prison for supposedly embezzling several million rubles from an Eastern European subsidiary of the cosmetics company Yves Rocher.

Alexey Navalny demanded his brother’s immediate release in accordance with the European Court of Human Rights’ October 2017 ruling that the Navalnys’ right to a free trial had been violated. (The ECHR refused, however, to say that the Yves Rocher case was politically motivated.)

The Russian Supreme Court also concluded that the Yves Rocher case should be reopened to consider the “new facts.” Navalny’s lawyer didn’t want the investigation reopened, pointing out that the last ECHR ruling to force a retrial of a case against Alexey Navalny (the “Kirovles” case) resulted in a verdict that was identical to the first.