Navalny's family wants his body/ His wife meeting with EU ministers

2024-02-19 09:42:00, Kosova & Bota CNA

Navalny's family wants his body/ His wife meeting with EU ministers

Alexei Navalny's family and supporters have continued to seek access to the late Kremlin critic's body, as those paying tribute to him continue to be arrested.

Russian authorities said on February 16 that he died in a prison in the Arctic.

Latvia-based newspaper Novaya Gazeta said on February 18 that police are guarding a local morgue in the Siberian city of Salekhrad as speculation mounts over the whereabouts of the 47-year-old's body.

Navalny's family and his close aide have confirmed his death in prison, and have requested that the body be handed over to them, but the authorities have rejected the request, telling his lawyers and mother that the "investigations" into the cause of death will be completed within the week.

The Mediazona website reported on February 18 that four cars believed to have carried Navalny's body were seen on cameras near the harsh Arctic prison, called "Polar Wolf".

Novaya reported, based on several anonymous sources, that signs of bruising were seen on Navalny's body.

However, these reports have not been independently identified.

Navalny's widow, Yulia Navalnaya, will meet with European Union foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday.

The head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, has pledged that "EU ministers will send a strong message of support to the freedom fighters in Russia and the memory of Alexei will be honored".

Since news of his death became public, Russian police have cordoned off several areas where people have lit candles and sent flowers in Navalny's honor.

Russian police forces have dispersed supporters and arrested more than 400 people in at least 36 cities.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has not mentioned Navalny so far, nor his death.

But the West has condemned Putin and his administration, while the American president, Joe Biden, has said that "there is no doubt" that Putin should be blamed for Navalny's death.

Navanlny has been sentenced to more than 19 years in prison on charges that he and his supporters have deemed politically motivated.

He was poisoned in 2020 with Novichok nerve agent, and at that time he blamed the state apparatus, led by Putin, for that decision.

Navalny recovered in Germany, after the poisoning, and on the day of his return to Russia, he was sent to prison./REL 



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