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Navalny's mother calls on Putin to hand over her son's body "without delay"

Alexe&iuml's mother Navalny calledé On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin met. give him "without delay" the body of his son, the opponent's team accusing the authorities of hiding his remains to cover up a “murder”.

Since his death in an Arctic prison announced on February 16, Alexeï Navalny's mother and a lawyer have sought in vain to gain access to his remains.

But, according to the opponent's team, Russian investigators affirmed that they would not return his body for at least 14 days in order to conduct an “expertise”. A deadline, which, according to jurists, could be extended for weeks.

In a video published Tuesday, his mother Lyoudmila Navalnaïa therefore spoke directly to the Russian president to win his case, while Mr. Putin has not publicly commented on the death of his main opponent after three years in prison.

“I appeal to you, Vladimir Putin, the solution to this problem depends only on you. Let me finally see my son. I ask that Alexei's body be returned without delay so that I can bury in a humane way,” she said, filmed near the penal colony where her son died.

– “Return Alexei’s body” –

Navalny's mother calls on Putin to hand over her son's body "without delay"

Passersby pay tribute to Alexei Navalny, in Moscow, February 20, 2024 © AFP – NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA

The Kremlin did not react immediately. On the other hand, on Tuesday he rejected the accusations of the widow of Alexeï Navalny, who claimed the day before that the Russian president had her husband killed in prison.

” These are gross and completely unfounded accusations against the Russian head of state, but given that Yulia Navalnaya became a widow a few days ago, I will not comment,” said the spokesperson for the Kremlin, Dmitri Peskov.

“I don't care how the spokesperson for a killer comments on my words. Return Alexei's body and let us bury him with dignity, don't stop people from saying goodbye to him,” retorted Ioulia Navalnaïa, on her X account (ex-Twitter).

Shortly after this message, the account was suspended for usage policy violations, before being reinstated less than an hour later.

In a video published Monday, Ms. Navalnaïa promised to take over from her husband and continue his fight.

Monday , she attended a meeting of EU foreign ministers during which she called on the 27 not to recognize the result of the Russian presidential election in mid-March, which should lead to a new mandate for M . Putin, in the absence of any opposition and against a backdrop of merciless repression.

– 400 arrests –

Navalny's mother calls on Putin to hand over her son's body "without delay"

Tribute to the Russian opponent who died in detention Alexei Navalny in front of the Russian embassy, ​​in Bucharest, February 18, 2024 © AFP – Daniel MIHAILESCU

In Russia, modest attempts to pay tribute to the opponent, in the midst of repression and a campaign of intimidation against any criticism since the launch of the attack against Ukraine in February 2022, have been repressed .

According to the specialized NGO OVD-Info, nearly 400 people were arrested by the police in nearly forty Russian cities for wanting to pay tribute to the opponent, in particular by laying flowers or lighting candles.

The Kremlin spokesperson on Tuesday deemed these arrests justified. “Law enforcement acts within the framework of the law,” said Dmitry Peskov.

Navalny's mother calls on Putin to hand over her son's body "without delay"

Alexei Navalny appears during a video hearing on a screen from an Arctic penal colony, January 11, 2024 in Moscow © AFP – Vera Savina

Moreover, Mr. Peskov described as routine the promotion by Mr. Putin on Monday of senior officials of the Russian penitentiary services, three days after the death of his opponent.

“These are normal processes of advancement”, he commented.

Alexeï Navalny , who was serving a 19-year prison sentence for “extremism” in a camp in the Russian Arctic, died on February 16 in custody, according to the prison services.

Navalny's mother calls on Putin to hand over her son's body "without delay"

Death of Alexeï Navalny: Russian penitentiary center no. 3 © AFP – Nalini LEPETIT-CHELLA, Valentina BRESCHI

After having miraculously survived a poisoning in August 2020, then treated in Germany, the activist, who became popular thanks to his investigations into the corruption of Russian power, chose to return to Russia in January 2021.

He was immediately arrested and successively sentenced to increasingly harsh sentences, in increasingly difficult conditions of detention, often in the cold of an isolation cell.

– “gang leader” –

Navalny's mother calls on Putin to hand over her son's body "without delay"

Russian opponent Alexeï Navalny and his wife Yulia Navalnaïa, posing for a photo posted on Instagram on September 21, 2020 © Instagram account @navalny – –

The Western world strongly denounced his death and held the master of the Kremlin responsible. Vladimir Putin has not yet commented on the subject, although he has been informed.

A long-time opponent and friend of Alexeï Navalny , Ilia Yashin, imprisoned in Russia for denouncing the assault on Ukraine, swore to continue his fight.

Navalny's mother calls on Putin to hand over her son's body "without delay"

Flowers in tribute to Alexei Navalny in front of the Russian consulate in Frankfurt, Germany, February 20, 2024 © AFP – –

In a letter released Tuesday by those close to him, Mr. Yashin also said he was “convinced” that the master of the Kremlin for a quarter of a century had “ordered” the opponent to be killed.< /p>

“In Putin's understanding, this is how power asserts itself: with murder, cruelty and revealing revenge. This thought is not that of “a statesman. It's that of a gang leader”, castigated Ilia Iachine.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116