Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny moved to solitary confinement
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny reported that prison administrators at the high-security penal colony where he’s serving his sentence have moved him to a "special housing unit" (SHU), a solitary confinement cell with additional restrictions.
In a social media post on Monday, August 15, Navalny wrote:
It’s only 3 days so far, but in the middle of September I have a visit from my relatives, which I am supposed to have once every 4 months. No visits are allowed to those in the SHU, so they say that unless I "reconsider my attitude", it will become my permanent residence.
Though prison officials reportedly claimed the new measures against Navalny were a response to him repeatedly "unbuttoning the top button" on his too-small prison robe, they were taken just days after he established a labor union for prisoners and filed a lawsuit against the prison's management.
Navalny was first transferred to Penal Colony No. 6 in Melekhovo, a town in Russia's Vladimir region, in June, months after a Moscow court sentenced him to nine years behind bars on charges of fraud and contempt of court. Navalny and his team have called the case trumped up. There have been widespread complaints of torture at the Melekhovo prison.
Navalny previously reported being forced to perform forced labor in a “prison within a prison” that the colony’s management set up for him. In a post on Telegram, he said he was made to sit for seven hours on "a stool below knee height” while sewing.