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Navalny’s lawyers file complaint over release of prison surveillance footage

Source: RIA Novosti

Alexey Navalny’s defense team has filed a complaint over the publication of a video of him filmed inside the penal colony where he is being held, said his lawyer Olga Mikhailova, as reported by RIA Novosti. 

Mikhailova didn’t specify where the complaint was filed. 

“We believe this is absolutely illegal. Moreover, the Penal Code prohibits interviewing persons in a [penal] colony without their written permission. Alexey didn’t give such consent, accordingly, all of these interviews and videos that appeared are absolutely illegal.”

Earlier, Mikhailova told the BBC Russian Service about complaints filed over the release of videos of Navalny in prison. The lawyer added that Navalny’s defense team regularly files complaints with the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN), the Russian Attorney General’s Office, as well as with regional branches of these departments, and with Penal Colony No. 2 (where Navalny is being held). There has been no response to these complaints so far, with the exception of a visit by doctors from the medical unit of the regional FSIN branch.

On April 2, the pro-Kremlin outlet Life published video footage showing Navalny from surveillance cameras inside Pokrov’s Penal Colony No. 2. The publication noted that the opposition politician, who had previously complained of pain in back and legs, was “walking with a confident gait.” Navalny’s chief of staff Leonid Volkov told Open Media that while the publication of the video was illegal, Navalny’s associates didn’t plan to file a complaint with the FSIN because such complaints are to no avail.

Alexey Navalny was transferred to the penal colony in Pokrov, Vladimir region, in mid-March. Soon afterwards, he began complaining about being denied adequate medical treatment for pain in his back and legs. On March 31, Navalny announced a hunger strike, demanding access to a specialist. The FSIN maintains that Navalny is receiving the medical care necessary.

On April 5, Navalny reported that he had developed a cough and a fever, adding that three inmates from his unit had been hospitalized with tuberculosis. That same day, the FSIN announced that Navalny had been moved to the prison’s sick ward due to signs of a respiratory illness. The opposition politician’s coronavirus test came back negative.

On April 7, Navalny’s lawyers reported that prison doctors had diagnosed him with two herniated discs. The next day, lawyer Olga Mikhailova told TASS that Navalny’s temperature had dropped. He also had X-rays done and was tested for the coronavirus once again (he has yet to receive the results).

According to Navlany’s lawyer Vadim Kobzev, another inmate is “looking after” Navalny in the prison’s sick ward. “This is an orderly from his unit, who, for some reason, also magically fell ill […] In general, the big question is whether this [person] is a real inmate,” said Kobzev. 

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