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Navalny's mother calls on Putin to hand over her son's body

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 lawyers, could be extended for weeks.

In a video published Tuesday, his mother Lyoudmila Navalnaïa therefore addressed the Russian president directly 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 the Alexei's body be returned without delay so that I can bury him in a humane manner,” she said, filmed near the penal colony where her son died.

– “Let us bury him” –

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,” the spokesperson said. of the Kremlin, Dmitri Peskov.

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

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

On 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 Mr. Putin, in the absence of any opposition and against a backdrop of merciless repression.

– “Gang leader” –

In Russia, the 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.

Navalny's mother calls on Putin to hand over her son's body

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

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.

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

“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 detention, according to the prison services.

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.

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 having denounced the assault on Ukraine, swore to continue his fight.

In a letter released Tuesday by his relatives, Mr. Yashin also said he was “convinced” that the master of the Kremlin for a quarter of a century had “ordered” to kill the opponent.

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