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Thursday April 18, 2024

Navalny’s ‘tortured’ body handed over to his mother

By REUTERS
February 25, 2024

MOSCOW: The body of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who died unexpectedly in prison nine days ago, was handed over to his mother on Saturday in the remote Arctic city of Salekhard, his spokeswoman said.

In a video recorded before the release of the body, Navalny’s widow Yulia Navalnaya accused “demonic” Russian President Vladimir Putin of “torturing” the corpse of a political opponent.

A woman lays flowers paying respect to Alexei Navalny at the Memorial to Victims of Political Repression in St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024. — AFP
A woman lays flowers paying respect to Alexei Navalny at the Memorial to Victims of Political Repression in St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024. — AFP 

Navalny’s allies urged supporters “not to relax” and his spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, wrote on X there was no certainty that Russian authorities would let the relatives hold a funeral “the way the family wants and the way Alexei deserves.”

In her six-minute video published on YouTube, Navalnaya said she would continue the fight against Putin’s regime, questioned the president’s faith and accused him of holding her husband’s body “hostage”.

On Friday Navalny’s mother Lyudmila said that Russian investigators were refusing to release his body from a morgue in Salekhard until she agreed to lay him to rest without a public funeral.

She said an official had told her that she should agree to their demands, as Navalny’s body was already decomposing.

On Saturday, Navalny aides said thorities had threatened to bury him in the remote prison colony where he died unless his family agreed to their conditions.