Washington urges Moscow to allow lawyers to meet Russian opposition leader

AA/Washington/Michael Hernandez

The United States urged Russian authorities on Tuesday to ensure that Alexei Navalny can consult his lawyers, after the imprisoned opponent’s lawyers said he disappeared while in custody authorities.

“We call on the Russian authorities to allow Mr. Navalny to consult his lawyers, to benefit from legal representation, as well as to receive medical treatment. We have repeatedly informed the Russian government that he is held responsible for this could happen to Mr. Navalny while he is in his custody,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

“They will be held accountable by the international community should anything happen to Mr Navalny while he is in their custody. This politically motivated arrest is due to his many years of speaking out against corruption of this government and that it is campaigning for democracy,” he added.

The statement comes after Navalny’s spokeswoman said he was moved from the prison where he was being held to an undisclosed location.

“His lawyer, who went to visit him, was held at the checkpoint until 2 p.m., before being told: ‘There is no detainee by that name here,'” the attaché wrote. press secretary and assistant to Russian opposition leader Kira Yarmysh on Twitter. “We don’t know where Alexei is now and to which colony (penitentiary) they decided to take him.”

Navalny was sentenced to an additional nine years in a maximum-security penal colony, after being found guilty in a fraud case in March, which the West says is part of a series of politically motivated prosecutions against the opponent.

Navalny was arrested in January 2021 after returning to Russia from Germany, where he was treated for poisoning. Western nations and Navalny have accused Russia of being responsible for the poisoning, a charge the Kremlin denies.

*Translated from English by Mourad Belhaj

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