Moscow remand prison deems Alexey Navalny a flight risk
The Preventative Commission at the remand prison where Alexey Navalny is in custody has registered him a flight risk, the opposition politician wrote on Instagram on Thursday, February 18.
“Now I’m ‘liable to escape.’ Earlier I was driven around not just in a convoy, but [one] with special forces officers in helmets and [carrying] machine guns. Now they will probably [put me] in irons.”
Navalny attributed this development to ongoing pressure over his investigation into the billion-dollar luxury residence supposedly built for Russian President Vladimir Putin near the town of Gelendzhik on the Black Sea.
“I have only one explanation for what is happening. One grandpa living in a bunker [Navalny’s “nickname” for Putin] had a nightmare. Seemingly, I escaped from my ‘special cell,’ got myself to Gelendzhik, went into his palace, played with his cars there, smeared myself in mud from his warehouse, and then jumped into the aquadisco and danced [...] Grandpa woke up in horror, picked up the phone and demanded that preventive measures be taken to avoid the abuse of his shrines.”
On February 2, Moscow’s Simonovsky Court ruled that Navalny had violated the terms of his probation in the Yves Rocher case — in turn, the court revoked his probation and sentenced him to 3.5 years in prison. Pending an appellate ruling, Navalny will spend the next two years and eight months in prison due to time previously served under house arrest. Navalny’s appeal hearing is scheduled for Saturday, February 20.
On February 17, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) called on Russia to release Navalny from custody immediately. The Russian Justice Ministry responded to the ECHR’s decision by calling it “deliberately impracticable.”