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Yulia Navalnaya shares letter from director of Navalny’s prison seeking her husband’s passport

Yulia Navalnaya has reported receiving a letter from Alexander Mukhanov, the director of the prison colony where her husband, Alexey Navalny, is being held.

In the letter, which Navalnaya shared in an Instagram post, Mukhanov writes that the prison administration isn’t in possession of Navalny’s passport and asks if Navalnaya knows of its whereabouts. According to the prison director, the opposition politician cannot be hospitalized in case of illness, or considered for parole, unless the prison administration has his passport on file.

In her post, Navalnaya expresses her complete bewilderment over the prison’s regulations:

“Citizen director, how then did the regulations and your conscience allow you to put a man in prison without a passport? [You] get thrown in prison without a passport, but only go to the hospital with a passport?” 

Citing Penal Code article 173, the letter claims that an inmates passport must be included in their personal file. However, this isn’t explicitly stated in the article in question. Penal Code article 173 says that a passport stored in a prisoner’s personal file will be issued to them upon their release, and that if an inmate’s passport isn’t on file, the prison administration must take steps to obtain it ahead of time.

For the past few weeks, Alexey Navalny has complained about pain in his back and numbness in his legs, and has demanded that he be allowed to see a specialist. On March 31, the opposition politician announced that he was going on hunger strike until he is afforded adequate medical treatment. The Federal Penitentiary Service maintains that Navalny is being provided with all necessary medical care.

On April 5, Izvestiya reported that Navalny had been moved to the prison’s sick ward due to “signs of a respiratory illness.” According to a social media post uploaded on Navalny’s behalf, he had developed a high fever and a strong cough. 

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