Russian court confirms that Alexey Navalny is in custody in Pokrov penal colony
Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny is in custody at Penal Colony No. 2 (IK-2) in the city of Pokrov in the Vladimir region. As reported by the Russian state news agency TASS, this was confirmed in a letter from Moscow’s 235th Garrison Military Court, which is set to consider the complaint filed by Navalny’s legal representatives over official inaction with regards to conducting an investigation into his August 2020 poisoning.
The court document says the complaint will be considered on Tuesday, March 16. A corresponding notice about the hearing was also sent to the head of Penal Colony No. 2, “to notify Navalny.” The court asked the prison administration to “ensure A. A. Navalny’s participation in the hearing via video conferencing.”
Citing anonymous sources in law enforcement, TASS first reported Navalny’s location as Pokrov’s Penal Colony No. 2 on March 12. At the time, the opposition politician’s lawyer, Olga Mikhailova, said that the prison administration would neither confirm nor deny that Navalny had been transferred there.
Following his arrest upon returning to Russia in January, Navalny was sent to the Matrosskaya Tishina remand prison in Moscow. On February 25, he was transferred to another detention center in the city of Kolchugino (also in the Vladimir region), where he was kept in quarantine ahead of his transfer to a penal colony. On March 12, reports emerged that Navalny had been moved from the Kolchugino detention center.
The media first reported that Navalny was going to be sent to IK-2 in Pokrov back in February, but this was never confirmed.
Update. Later in the day on Monday, Navalny’s associates uploaded a Facebook post on his behalf. In the post, he describes Pokrov’s Penal Colony No. 2 as a “real concentration camp 100 kilometers from Moscow.” “I haven’t yet seen any violence or even a hint of it, although by the tense posture of the convicts […] I easily believe the numerous stories that here, in IK-2 Pokrov, people were beaten half to death with wooden hammers just recently.”
Penal Colony No. 2 is a known as a strict facility where the administration exercises complete control over the inmates. Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (the FBK, which the Russian authorities consider a “foreign agent”) released a video about this institution earlier this month. Among other things, it included allegations that the prisoners there are beaten up, including immediately upon arrival at the prison colony.
Asked about Navalny’s location earlier in the day on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, “We don’t have information about the whereabouts of convicts in the Russian Federation.”