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Navalny aide says the jailed Russian dissident has disappeared

Alexei Navalny’s spokesperson Kira Yarmysh said Tuesday that the imprisoned Russian opposition leader’s whereabouts are currently unknown.

“Alexei Navalny was transported away from the penal colony No. 2. His lawyer, who came to see him, was kept at the checkpoint until 14.00, and was then told: ‘There is no such convict here,’” Yarmysh wrote on Twitter. “We do not know where Alexei is now and what colony they are taking him to.

“Neither Alexei’s attorneys nor his relatives were informed about his transfer in advance. There were rumors that he was going to be transferred to the high-security penal colony IK-6 ‘Melekhovo,’ but it is impossible to know when, and if, he will actually arrive there,” she added.

Navalny’s chief of staff Leonid Volkov made the same announcement via his Telegram channel.

Navalny was imprisoned in February 2021 on charges of violating probation, after returning from Germany, where he had been recovering from being poisoned with a nerve agent, an attack which he accused the Kremlin of ordering. In March this year, Navalny was then sentenced to another nine years in prison on fraud charges — after a trial dismissed as a sham by Amnesty International.

“As long as we don’t know where Alexei is, he remains one-on-one with the system that has already tried to kill him, so our main task now is to locate him as soon as possible,” Yarmysh said.

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