Death of Alexeï Navalny, live: the cause of death still unknown, his relatives demand the release of his remains

Alexeï Navalny, main opponent of the Russian regime, died in a prison in the Arctic Circle on Friday February 16.

Death of Alexeï Navalny, live: the cause of death still unknown, his relatives demand the release of his remains

Alexeï Navalny, main opponent of the Russian regime, died in a prison in the Arctic Circle on Friday February 16. His relatives accuse the authorities of refusing to hand over his remains. The investigators request a new histological examination.

He was the Kremlin's number one enemy. The Russian opponent of Vladimir Putin, Alexei Navalny, died in prison this Friday, February 16, 2024. The death of the man who was the main opponent of the President of Russia was confirmed by the Russian Prison Administration (FSIN). According to these services, the 47-year-old man held in a penitentiary center located in the Arctic Circle "felt bad after a walk" before dying despite the intervention of medical services, specifies the FSIN of the Arctic region of Iamal in a statement.

“All the necessary resuscitation measures were carried out but did not give a positive result. The emergency doctors noted the death of the patient. The causes of death are being established”, also specifies the press release from the services penitentiaries who assure that the man had not reported any health problems. A procedural investigation was opened after the death of Alexei Navalny, the Russian Investigative Committee said. Vladimir Putin was informed of the death of Alexei Navalny, according to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov cited by the Russian news agency TASS. On the other hand, the opponent's spokesperson indicated that she had not had confirmation of the death. She assures X that “Alexeï Navalny's lawyer is flying to Kharp. As soon as we have information, we will communicate it”.

Several heads of state reacted to the announcement of the death and some blame Russian power, even Vladimir Putin, for the death of Alexeï Navalny. The Russian government “bears a heavy responsibility” for this death according to Norwegian diplomacy. The President of Latvia declared that Alexeï Navalny "has just been brutally assassinated by the Kremlin". In France, the first reaction was that of Stéphane Séjourné, Minister of Foreign Affairs, according to whom the Russian opponent “paid with his life for his resistance to a system of oppression.”

The causes of Alexeï Navalny's death are not yet known, but several reactions from the Russian opponent's supporters also accuse the Kremlin of having accelerated the politician's death. His supporters have assured for several months that the Russian authorities were seeking to further isolate the political opponent in the run-up to the presidential election scheduled for March 2024. During his latest interventions on social networks, Alexeï Navalny had called for demonstrations everywhere in Russia during the presidential election, in particular by going to the polling stations at noon: "I like the idea that those who vote against Putin go to the polls at the same time, at noon. Noon against Putin" , he declared on X.

Alexei Navalny was serving a 19-year prison sentence in an Arctic penal colony after being convicted of “extremism” in 2021. The man was arrested in January 2021 upon his return from Russia after convalescing in Germany for a poisoning that he blamed on the Kremlin. Since then, he has alternated stays in solitary confinement with strict detention conditions. He had been transferred from the penal colony in the Vladimir region, located 250 kilometers east of Moscow, to where he was in the Arctic at the end of December. The media had little news and were unaware of the state of health of Vladimir Putin's main opponent. Relatives of the activist and politician, such as Olga Prokopieva, denounced “very difficult detention conditions where he cannot receive a letter, no family visits”. “It’s very complicated for his lawyers to see him. In addition, the climatic conditions in this region are very harsh, and will cause an additional blow to his morale,” she added, as reported by franceinfo.

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