Alexei Navalny was Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest domestic critic before being jailed for nine years.Russian authorities have violated the rights of jailed opposition leader Alexey Navalny by restricting his contact with lawyers and repeatedly subjecting him to solitary confinement, the United States has said.
Navalny – who was Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most vocal domestic critic before his arrest – is serving nine years in jail on a series of charges he says are politically motivated.
“The United States is deeply concerned by the Russian Government’s escalating, arbitrary interference with Aleksey Navalny’s rights,” the US State Department said in a statement late on Friday.
The US agency said that Russian prison authorities had interfered with Navalny’s access to legal defence by supervising his meetings with his lawyers and delaying exchanges of documents and communication between them.
“This interference, along with his repeated diversion to solitary confinement for minor alleged infractions, is further evidence of politically motivated harassment,” the State Department said.
We are deeply concerned by the Russian Government’s ongoing harassment of Aleksey @Navalny, including through interference with his ability to communicate with counsel to prepare his defense and repeated confinement in solitary. https://t.co/5UxbIqfxnP
— Ned Price (@StateDeptSpox) September 9, 2022
In recent weeks, the 46-year-old opposition leader who is jailed near the town of Vladimir some 200 kilometres (125 miles) outside Moscow, had said he was placed in solitary confinement on several occasions as punishment.
On Wednesday, Navalny posted on Twitter via his lawyers that he had been ordered to spend 15 more days in solitary confinement, which he said was the fourth time he had been placed in isolation at the prison.
Describing Navalny’s arrest as “already shameful”, the State Department said Moscow’s “insistence on harassing him further only highlights its insecurity and fear of those who speak the truth”.
In mid-August, Na …